Area Development
Two closely knit companies plan a $34 million investment in quarry mining and frac sand production that will create an estimated 60 jobs in Natchez, Mississippi.

Magnolia Frac Sand and Fores Frac Sand entered into a partnership agreement to produce frac sand and resin-coated frac sand used by the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracturing of conventional and unconventional reservoirs, such as shale wells, as well as to enhance oil and natural gas recovery.

Magnolia Frac Sand will mine sand and put it through a heating and drying process. Next, Fores will apply a resin coating to a portion of the frac sand produced. The frac sand and the resin coated frac sand will then be shipped out of the Port of Natchez, where Fores is installing a loading and unloading storage facility and a handling system.

As a result of this partnership Blain Sand and Gravel, which operates a quarry in Natchez, invested $7 million to create Magnolia Frac Sand with plans to hire 30 new workers. Fores Frac Sand, owned by Calgary, Canada-based Fores Canada Inc., will invest $27 million in its new Mississippi location, with plans to also create approximately 30 new jobs.

"I am excited we are launching Magnolia Frac Sand and expanding our presence in Natchez," said Lee Stevens, president of Blain Sand and Gravel. "I am grateful to those at the state and local levels who provided support for us during this process and look forward to working with Fores in the months and years ahead."

"This is an exciting day for Fores, as we officially become a member of the southwest Mississippi business community," said Tony Little, president and chief executive officer of Fores Canada Inc. "The support and generosity we have received has been great, and we are looking forward to many years of success here in Natchez."

"I applaud Blain for expanding its Mississippi operations and am pleased to welcome Fores to our state," Governor Phil Bryant said. "Together, these two companies are creating approximately 60 jobs for the residents of southwest Mississippi. I am grateful to Blain and Fores officials for their confidence in our workforce and their investment in our state, and I commend this expansion of Mississippi's energy economy."

As an incentive the Mississippi Development Authority worked closely with both companies and local officials to help facilitate the project and provide funding for infrastructure needs. Adams County also provided funding.