Business Agreement to Create Jobs in Natchez

Natchez, Miss. (April 18, 2012) – Governor Phil Bryant and officials from The Blain Companies and Fores Canada Inc. announced today the two companies have entered into a business agreement that will create approximately 60 new jobs for Natchez, Miss.-area residents.
Blain, which currently maintains quarry operations in Natchez, is expanding its presence in the area with the launch of a new business division to be known as Magnolia Frac Sand LLC. The new company will produce frac sand for Fores Canada Inc.’s new division, Fores Frac Sand LLC, to be located in Natchez. Another new division of Fores Canada Inc., Fores Resin Coat LLC, then will add a resin coat to some of the frac sand produced to strengthen, harden and enhance the performance of the frac sand. Frac sand and resin-coated frac sand are used by the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracturing of conventional and unconventional reservoirs, such as shale wells, to enhance oil and natural gas recovery.
As a result of this partnership, Blain is investing $7 million in Magnolia Frac Sand and will create approximately 30 new jobs. Fores is investing $27 million in its new Mississippi location and also will create approximately 30 new jobs.
“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.”
To produce the frac sand, Magnolia Frac Sand will mine sand and put it through a heating/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.
“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.”
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) worked closely with company and local officials to help facilitate the projects and provided funding for infrastructure needs. Adams County provided funding to assist with the projects, as well.
“To support job creation in Mississippi, MDA works to recruit new businesses to the state and help our existing corporate citizens grow,” said Jim Barksdale, interim executive director of MDA. “We are proud to have been able to assist with these projects, which are not only bringing new operations to the state but are helping a long-standing Mississippi company expand.”
Founded in 1945 in Mount Olive, Miss., The Blain Companies specialize in highway construction, asphalt paving, asphalt manufacturing, soil stabilization and aggregate production. Blain Sand and Gravel has operations in Crystal Springs and Hattiesburg, Miss., as well as Natchez. The Blain Companies also operate Bacco Materials, located in Columbus, Miss. Both companies mine raw material and produce a number of washed or processed materials. For more information, please visit www.blain-co.com.
Fores Canada Inc. is associated with Fores, a Russian company manufacturing ceramic proppant and resin coated ceramic proppant with production in Russia and sales in North American and other global markets. Fores Canada Inc. is a new company, based in Calgary, Canada, with business operations in the United States through Fores America Inc. and new divisions Fores Frac Sand LLC and Fores Resin Coast LLC, all registered companies in the state of Mississippi.

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