CanWhite Sands Inc. reportedly claims their extraction project in Manitoba is to obtain silica sand primarily for solar panels, glass and other non frac uses. I do not believe it; I expect they are after sand for frac’ing and are claiming green uses to get rid of aquifer contamination and land subsidence concerns by the public and the harmed. Currently, silicon metal is extracted from very pure quartzite type rocks – not silica sand – to make solar panels.
HD Minerals/CanWhite Sands Inc. (CWS) plans to extract silica sand from the Winnipeg Formation aquifer that together with the overlying carbonate aquifer supplies water to a large portion of south east Manitoba. The sand is to be extracted using air lift wells that inject air into the sandstone aquifer and withdraw a mixture of air, sand and water. Excess water is to be returned to the formation. The sand is to be delivered to the CWS Vivian Sand Processing Plant by means of closed loop slurry lines. The sand is to be stockpiled and processed at the plant at Vivian, Manitoba, township SE32-10-8E. Silt and fine sand are to be removed in a clarifier tank at the processing pant and the water returned to the remote extraction locations to pick up more sand. A large number of extraction wells will be drilled to deliver 1.36 million tonnes of silica sand per year to the processing plant. After up to five days of extraction each well is to be sealed. The lifetime of the project is expected to be 24 years. CWS has over 80,000 hectares of mineral claims for sand extraction as shown in Figure 1. Not included in Figure 1 is the potential CWS extraction of silica sand from existing or future quarry leases over a larger area.
According to information from the well records obtained from the Manitoba Government, excess water from sand extraction in the sandstone aquifer would be pumped via the outer well tube and the open hole below into the carbonate aquifer violating the regulation of the Manitoba Groundwater and Well Water Act prohibiting mixing of aquifer waters.
The evidence given in this report demonstrates irreparable damage to both aquifers could occur.
Several residents of Springfield Manitoba on Feb.1, 2021, filed a report with the Director of the Manitoba Water Science and Management of suspected violations of the Manitoba Groundwater and Water Well Act. The report includes complaints of deterioration of their well water quality since the start of CWS advanced exploration activities in the area. The results of the investigation into the complaint should be publicly available.
My condolences to the silica sand extraction harmed in Manitoba. It’s horrendous that Canadian authorities and “regulators” enable companies to rape our drinking water supplies and allow (and often cover-up) violations of legislation in place to protect our environment, public health, communities and water.
Alberta authorities engaged in fraud to help Encana/Ovintiv and other companies violate every regulation and law in place to protect groundwater. Encana illegally commingled fracs in a community’s multiple drinking water aquifers and injected 18 million litres undisclosed frac fluid directly into them, with politician blessings and “regulator” deregulation to make commingling legal.
Are “regulators” planning on letting companies contaminate drinking water across the country, so the citizenry is forced to buy corporate waste water to drink and bathe in?
The Vivian Silica Sands Page will be updated, time permitting, when new information becomes publicly available.