What is silica sand mining and why is it of concern?
Silica sand mining is the process of mining to extract silica sands to be used for glass, solar panels and fracking. Very little of Manitoba's silica sand is of a pure enough quality for glass and solar panels. Cleaning sand to reach that quality is a very polluting process as it creates acid drainage.
Photo credits: Don Sullivan
Manitoba Silica Sand Mining will cause:
- Unique risk to two First Nations communities: Hollow Water & Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, in addition to St. Rita, Vivian, Dugald, Anola, Cottage District along both sides of Lake Winnipeg
- Acid drainage from removal of the iron in the sand cleaning process causes acid contamination to the watersheds both above and below ground threatening groundwater and drinking water. The aquifer is at high risk of contamination
- Air pollution, including silica dust, a known carcinogen may result in silicosis
- 24/7, 365 days/yr production causes on-going noise and light pollution
- Large hauling trucks cause safety concerns & wear and tear to roads and highways. The result is road repair costs to Manitoba tax payers????
- Increased rail traffic, results in delays of other traffic around our communities
- A potential threat to Lake Winnipeg and the marshlands and communities
- A mere $1M provincial insurance is insufficient to cover potential, permanent loss of the aquifer (in the Springfield area)
- Social division within communities: payouts to some, property depreciation for others
PURPOSE: To organize resistance to silica sand mining in Manitoba.
WHO WE ARE: Volunteers work in solidarity with the frontline community members from Hollow Water First Nation, Camp Morning Star, Our Line in the Sand Manitoba(OLS), What the Frac MB, Manitoba Eco Network, Canadian Federation of Students, and other concerned community members.
OUR FOCUS: Stopping silica sand mining in MB through public education, lobbying and non violent direct action. We are open to collaborations that serve this goal.
To learn more about Silica/frac sand mining in Manitoba:
You can also find related campaigns on social media:
- “Camp Morningstar” https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=camp%20morning%20star
- “Our Line in the Sand Campaign Manitoba” https://www.facebook.com/groups/1389185627949861
- “What the Frac Manitoba” (closed group) https://www.facebook.com/groups/644966189238633
And see films on silica sand mining:
- “Camp Morningstar” (16 min): https://www.nfb.ca/film/lake-winnipeg-project-camp-morningstar/
- “The Price of Sand: Silica, Small Towns & Money” (58 min): available on Kanopy via your local library or can be rented for a nominal fee on the internet.