Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Fracking and sand

Some companies in the minerals industry will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of fracking in the UK, if the US is anything to go by. Much has been said about the environmental damage of fracking, its impact on groundwater, its impact on the climate; less has been said about the silica sand - frac sand - suspended in the toxic concoction of chemicals pumped underground, needed to prop the fractures open - "a single fracked well can require 10,000 tons of industrial silica sand”. This BGS presentation maps the UK silica sand deposits.

If the UK is to embrace fracking, it must be ready to embrace an increase in silica sand quarrying, and the carcinogenic silica dust that goes with it.