October 8, 2014 Edition

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New industry planning
to locate in LawCo.

Gretchen Hunt

A new industry is set to come to Lawrence County after a contract with American Silica, Inc. was signed for a plant to be built north of Black Rock.

American Silica mines and processes aggregate materials for the oil and gas industry for use in the process known as hydraulic fracturing.

County Judge Dale Freeman said the plant will initially employ 30 people and will process frac sand from mining operations out of Lawrence, Sharp and Independence counties.

As many as 150 trucks a day are expected to go in and out of the plant, according to Freeman. The county is already making preparations to rebuild County Road 210 for the heavy traffic it will receive. Once sand is processed, is will be sent out via railroads.

American Silica has been working with Lawrence County for several years to find a location for its plant. Portia was considered at one point, but ultimately not pursued.

Fran Cavenaugh, chair of the Lawrence County Chamber Board, said the company has great potential for Lawrence County.

“The Chamber is glad to assist the county in any way that we can to help this industry locate in our county," Cavenaugh said.

The company, based in Brookswille, Fla., has projected an eight-month build period before the plant is running. Freeman said he expects the company to break ground very soon.

“It's going to be a big outfit for the county," Freeman said.

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