The Price of Sand investigates the frac sand mining boom in Minnesota and Wisconsin, US. Pure silica sand has seen rapid increase in demand and has become a valuable commodity, leading to mines opening up across the states.
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The silica used in fracking has other uses, including glass manufacturing and toothpaste, and some established mines have been operating for decades. However, the demand for fracking has seen new companies arrive and land with accessible silica deposits being sold for high prices.
The Price of Sand looks at how this affected communities and the promises made to local people. The documentary was created after a series of shorts were posted on YouTube, sparking a discussion.
The interviews are made of people who live near exiting mines, who commented on the intense truck traffic, plummeting property values, toxic silica dust and many other companies. The film is thought provoking and shows the industry from a different and important perspective – that of the communities.