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New sand mine proposed in Cooks Valley

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A 332-acre industrial sand mine is being proposed next to an existing mine in the town of Cooks Valley.

The proposed mine by Ted Swinney of Dallas, Texas is the 11th frac or industrial sand site in the county.

Swinney applied for the nonmetallic mine on Oct. 1, according to Dan Masterpole, director of the  Department of Land Conservation and Forest Management for Chippewa County.

The owners of the property are listed as LA Property Acquisition, Loran Zwiefelhofer and Don and Judith Sarauer.

“They have indicated there will probably be a wash plant at that site,” Masterpole said. Sand is washed as part of the processing process.

The proposed Swinney mine is on Highway DD, close to the county line with Dunn County. The proposed mine would be adjacent to the Cooks Valley mine operated by EOG Resources. That company also has a sand mine in the town of Howard.

Masterpole said the next step for his department is to review the reclamation plan the Swinney proposed mine submitted. The county would then publish a notice and schedule a public hearing on the reclamation plan.

“We would anticipate this would happen probably after the holidays,” Masterpole said.

Another proposed mine, a 185-acre mine owned by A & M Mikl Sands in the town of Auburn, has resubmitted a reclamation plan with additional information. Masterpole said his department is reviewing that information.

Two other mining sites have permits for their reclamation plan but have not opened. Both are owned by Preferred Sands of Minnesota.

One would be a 160-acre mine in the town of Cooks Valley and the other would be the largest in the county, a 1,224-acre site in the town of Auburn.


An earlier version of this story carried incorrect information supplied by the county’s Land Conservation Department about landowners within the boundary of a proposed mine in the town of Cooks Valley. The land owners are Don and Judith Sarauer, not Steve and Ann Sarauer as the county previously incorrectly listed.


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This is a map from Chippewa County's Land Conservation and Forest Management department of current or proposed sand mines in Chippewa County, …

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