Pits & Quarries
Proposed frac sand quarry in eastern B.C. receives initial approval
December 22, 2023 By Rock to Road Staff
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Vitreo Minerals, a sand and gravel supplier based outside of Golden, B.C., has received initial approvals for the Angus Project, a proposed frac sand operation east of Bear Lake.
The project would involve the development of a frac sand quarry, with materials sold into the oil and gas basin in Montney directly north of the operation. Initial steps would involve drilling and blasting to create the quarry, in addition to installing a nearby sand plant for processing.
Materials would then be transported along a pre-existing forest service road to a finishing site closer to the highway for drying and selling.
The announcement was made by Scott Broughton, president and CEO of Vitrea Minerals, at the November meeting for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.
Broughton estimates the quarry would have a lifespan of roughly 20 years, and emphasized the importance of the close-to-market solutions that this quarry would provide.
“We see a large and looming demand for that material,” Broughton said. “Right now, it’s being imported all the way from Wisconsin, so you can imagine the cost and greenhouse gas impact of that delivery.”
Initial approval based on project description has been received from the Environmental Assessment Office, but Vitreo are preparing to submit a revised description for approval early next year based on changes requested from local Indigenous nations and the surrounding community.
Vitreo are still performing extensive environmental baseline assessments, and further permitting is also required to move forward. The company hopes to have all required permits and approvals by the end of 2025 before making a final investment decision to build.
According to Broughton, pre-feasibility cost estimates for building the mine and both processing plants is roughly $300 million.
Broughton said this project could potentially create 150 to 200 jobs to serve the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market in the Montney basin, which he sees as a $2 billion a year business for the next 40 years.
“LNG is about to kick off in 2025, the demand for our products will be going on for a long, long time. This could be a multi-generational mining opportunity. Having a local opportunity like this, diversifying the economy and reducing the carbon footprint of the whole process, I think is a big win,” said Broughton.
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