Sand operation could yield fracking riches

There’s no gold in the sand and gravel pits that have operated for generations in a sleepy, rural strip west of the Jersey Shore. But there could be a fortune. Future Mining of Middle Township, a subsidiary of family-owned Albrecht & Heun, is for sale. The estimated market value of the sand and gravel reserves: $74 million – and the price could spike higher if the sand is found to be suitable for fracking, a controversial process used to extract oil and natural gas from the earth.

“If there is frack sand, it will dramatically increase the value,” says Hank Waida, managing partner of Equity Partners, the Maryland-based firm retained to sell the business. The company has not yet received a final report on whether the sand is suitable for fracking, a process in which sand is mixed with water and chemicals and forced deep underground to fracture shale deposits that hold oil and natural gas.
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