Farmers cashing in their land for big bucks.
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It’s not a gold rush, but a sand rush that is taking place in the Midwest, where a rare type of sand used in the energy extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing is exclusively found.
The smooth, round, very strong white sand known as “Northern White” or “Ottawa White” is pitting neighbor against neighbor, and neighbors against sand mining companies. The sand is 99.5 percent pure silica,
“This sand has excellent chemical properties, very low iron, very low aluminum,” said William McTee, regional manager for Unimin corporation, a company that’s been mining sand around the country for decades.