When Sio Silica announced its plan to become a publicly traded company in November — just weeks after Manitoba had elected a new government — the out-of-province sand miners expressed confidence they were on the verge of breaking ground.

Such confidence would come as a surprise to some residents of the small agricultural communities just a stone’s throw from Winnipeg, where Sio Silica has announced plans to drill thousands of holes through two aquifers over the next two decades for what it claims will be “the greenest sand mine in the world.”

As far as these communities were aware, Manitoba’s environment department was still poring over the company’s hotly contested application for an environmental licence — and a decision wasn’t coming any time soon.

As Sio Silica prepares to go public and more details of their political and financial web come to light, we’ve broken down those connections — and what they could mean for the licensing process.

To read more of this story first reported by the Winnipeg Free Press, click here.

This content is made available to Canada's National Observer readers as part of an agreement with the Winnipeg Free Press that sees our two trusted news brands collaborate to better cover Canada. Questions about Winnipeg Free Press content can be directed to [email protected].

Keep reading