National Minerals Information Center

Silica Statistics and Information

Industrial sand and gravel, often called "silica," "silica sand," and "quartz sand," includes sands and gravels with high silicon dioxide (SiO2) content.  These sands are used in glassmaking; for foundry, abrasive, and hydraulic fracturing (frac) applications; and for many other industrial uses.   The specifications for each use vary, but silica resources for most uses are abundant.  In almost all cases, silica mining uses open pit or dredging mining methods with standard mining equipment.  Except for temporarily disturbing the immediate area while mining operations are active, sand and gravel mining usually has limited environmental impact.

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Thomas Dolley

USGS Mineral Commodity Specialist
National Minerals Information Center
Phone: 703-648-7710