Fast growth of sand mining is ‘real deal’ after oil bust

Julio Griffin runs a hydro-cannon at the Superior Silica Sands sand mine in Kosse, Texas. Demand for sand is surging as oil and gas production in the Permian Basin is booming again. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

KOSSE – As drilling has recovered in recent months, particularly in West Texas’ Permian Basin, the sand mining industry has exploded.

It is producing more than ever to meet the demand of an oil and gas sector that is using up to 20 times more sand per well than it did during the last energy boom. Across the state, already home to nearly 10 frac sand mines, operators are moving to expand quickly, setting the stage for Texas to become a bigger player in an industry dominated by more pure Wisconsin and Minnesota sands.

At, read how the growth of sand mining is opening a new front in the battle between the energy industry and environmentalists.