Further developments in the Sibelco sand quarry story, from Cheshire –
Quarrying company Sibelco are now holding two public exhibitions in Cheshire to win over public opinion over their plans to expand the size and production capacity of the existing sand quarry. This is one of a limited number of sites in the UK where the specific silica sand used for fracking can be found. The concern is that this ‘specialist industrial sand’ that Sibelco refer to, is silica, which is used as an essential ingredient in fracking, and these sand quarries are looking to expand and increase production of this specialist frac sand at the same time that fracking licenses have been given the go-ahead in the UK.
There is to be a peaceful gathering on Friday 17th February 2017 outside Cranage Village Hall, Knutsford Road, Holmes Chapel CW4 8EQ from 4pm – 8pm (please come as and when you can) with banners, placards etc to highlight the link between the sand quarry/fracking industry and for a public show of opposition to the fracking industry and its supply chain.
There is a facebook event for this at www.facebook.com/events/1263868083731331
In their flyer for the exhibitions
(which can be seen at http://www.cranageparishcouncil.co.uk/sibelco-public-exhibition-at-cranage-hall/)
Sibelco seem keen to downplay any connection and repeat the same story that we have heard coming from fracking companies in the past, that it is safe and has been going on for years…
Someone who attended the Tuesday exhibition reported back “Just back from the Sibelco planning exhibition at Allostock village hall. So we were assured hand on heart that sand from that site is not of the specification required for fracking and would not be sold for fracking….They specifically stated that they did not need to add the use to which the sand would be put on the planning application!”
However this 2015 report from the British Geological Society
states on page 13 that ” In total, 108.1 tonnes of Congleton Sand and 354.6 tonnes of Chelford Sand were used in five hydraulic fracturing stages at the Preese Hall-1 well, Lancashire in 2011 (Cuadrilla, 2014).”
and on page 14, What is the Future for UK Frac Sand – ” The major silica sand producers in the UK, such as Aggregate Industries, Hanson Aggregates, Lafarge Tarmac and Sibelco, are all actively considering the potential to produce frac sand from their existing operations. Initially at least, frac sand production would probably come from increased production at their existing operations rather than new quarries”
And more… from May 2015
“The UK is nearly self-sufficient in silica sand, with 40 quarries producing 4M tonnes annually, although the figure was much higher at around 6.3M tonnes in the mid-seventies. Imports and exports of silica sand are relatively small by comparison, at 198K Tonnes exports and 388K Tonnes imported in 2006 (15). More than 50% of silica glass sand in the UK is produced by Sibelco UK Ltd10 that also supplies Cuadrilla in its UK exploration operations. Sibelco has silica sand operations in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Norfolk, North Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire in England and West Lothian in Scotland.
In the planning application for hydraulic fracturing on the Becconsall site, Cuadrilla pointed out that the depths of drilling are lower than for some higher pressure wells where ceramic proppant is more suitable than the frac-sand supplied by Sibelco from its operations in Cheshire. In the application, Cuadrilla stated that each fracture treatment should use about 50 T (Tons) of sand and that this would be delivered via pneumatic tankers each with a capacity of 27 Tons (18). ”
For Further information regarding the Sibelco exhibitions,
The dates are –
Tuesday 14th February Allostock Village Hall 4pm – 8pm
Friday 17th February Cranage Village Hall 4pm – 8pm
The blurb on the leaflet says-
“Planning Exhibition… everyone welcome
Sibelco, a leading supplier of specialist minerals based in Cheshire for over 40 years, is seeking consent to extract and process specialist industrial sand at Rudheath Lodge, Cranage and Allostock.
The planning exhibition will present the findings of studies undertaken and seek views of the local community before making planning submissions to the Local Authorities.
Company representatives will be present to discuss the proposals.”
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