Introducing Sio Silica / CanWhite Sands

We'd like to take a few minutes of your time to introduce ourselves and our company, and tell you what we're doing in your neighbourhood.

We're aware of the concerns this ambitious silica extraction project is causing. The truth is, we were so focused on the science and figuring out an extraction process that we didn't pay much attention to how we were being perceived publicly. We'd also like to introduce our team and our new brand: Sio Silica.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to get to know us!


Pure silica sand is a key building block for things like solar panels, computer chips and batteries, fibre optics and specialty medical glass. Now, there is an innovative and safe way to extract and process the rare silica found in eastern Manitoba to serve these markets and help grow the local economy while protecting the environment.

Sio Silica Corp. (Sio Silica) is proposing to extract silica sand from the Carman Sand member within the Winnipeg Sandstone geological formation beneath the Rural Municipality (RM) of Springfield and process it at a new facility Sio Silica is proposing to build outside of Vivian, Manitoba.

Sio Silica is a private company based in Calgary, Alberta with operations out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Sio Silica aims to be the leading supplier of high purity silica sand using environmentally sustainable methods while providing benefits to the local community. Sio Silica is following the Government of Manitoba’s environmental approvals process and has filed two Environmental Act Licence applications for the project; the Vivian Sand Facility Project and the Vivian Sand Extraction Project.  We look forward to telling you more about our project and answering your questions.


Uses of Silica Sand

Silica sand is the primary invisible ingredient of everyday life. Silica sand is quartz that is naturally found broken down into tiny granules. This high-quality silica sand product is used in a variety of markets such as the renewable energy industry (e.g., solar panel production and rechargeable batteries), electronics (e.g., cellphones, computer chips), telecommunications (e.g., fibre optics), sports field applications (e.g., golf courses) and the glass and ceramics production industry.



Cell Phones

Cell Phone Screens

Solar Panels

Solar Panels


Fibre Optics

Medical Glass

Specialty/Medical Glass


Float Glass

Glass of Water

Water Filtration


Green Energy Storage

Facts Matter YouTube Series

Our YouTube series is just one way we are sharing more information and answering your questions about our project.

You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel for the latest videos, or find them here for your convenience. If you have a question you want answered, please do not hesitate to connect with us on the website, by email, or by phone.

Email:  |   Telephone: 1-888-436-5238


The Aquifer

The Extraction Process


Economic Development

In the Community

Residential Water Wells




Once the sand is extracted and separated from the groundwater, it is then sent down the slurry line to the Processing Facility. Sio Silica previously submitted an application for the Vivian Sand Facility Project which includes the construction, commissioning and operation of a facility.

The proposed Vivian Sand Facility Project is within the RM of Springfield, south of Vivian, Manitoba on land designated for aggregate and industrial activities. The location was selected as it is adjacent to, and can make use of, the existing CN rail infrastructure. The facility will receive trains weekly to transport the sand product to market. Therefore, no sand haul trucks will be needed.

Additionally, Eastern Manitoba is home to many skilled and experienced workers who will help supply the workforce needed for the planned Project. We look forward to helping to grow Manitoba's economy.

A Silica Sand Facility consists of a Wet Plant, a Dry Plant and a Rail Load Out. These components wash, dry and transport the final sand product by rail to market. A conceptual view of the proposed facility is shown below. It will be a maximum height of 24 meters tall. The four dry sand silos will be the tallest structures standing at a height of 42 meters. The facility will be surrounded by trees that currently grow on the property.

Sio Silica intends to design an operation that is environmentally responsible and is in-line with our corporate sustainability policies, which meet or exceed industry and global standards.

Through vegetation, wetland and wildlife studies, we determined that the site is not home to fish habitat, rare vegetation or uncommon wildlife habitat. Further comprehensive environmental investigations, such as noise, heritage resources, hydrogeology and air quality assessment studies, have been completed and will be incorporated in the Project’s environmentally responsible design.

Approximately 17 hectares (ha) of naturally vegetated area is expected to be cleared to construct the facility and associated infrastructure. The area to be cleared is approximately 15 times smaller than a section of farmland which is 260 ha.

Sio Silica is committed to design and operation of a facility that is environmentally responsible and that takes community concerns into account. Learn about how we are putting the health and safety of Manitobans first:

Air quality
To contain silica sand dust, Sio Silica will implement several measures:

  • The Dry Plant of the facility will be enclosed and use an air filtration system, as well as negative pressure at all transfer points.
  • Outdoor sand stockpiles are created with wet sand which remains wet and therefore will not create dust. Sand will be screened to remove most fine particles before moving to stockpiles. Sand that is either too large (‘overs’) or too small (‘fines’) for the target sand buyer markets will be temporarily stored in sand reject piles that will be misted with water during the spring, summer and fall to ensure sand does not dry out. During the winter months, the wet sand stockpiles will freeze a few inches on the outer layer, which will contain the sand further should there be any remaining dust particles in the stockpiles. Waste material will be regularly disposed at an approved facility.
  • The final dry sand product will be stored in enclosed silos until it can be directly loaded into enclosed rail cars for shipment. Sand will travel from the silos in enclosed conveyors and then be loaded into rail cars using a specially designed dust capture system.

It is not expected that noise generated by the facility will impact nearby residents as the majority of the machinery is within an enclosed building. A noise impact assessment will be used to inform facility design. The naturally vegetated property, the enclosed Dry Plant, the wet sand stockpiles and sand storage silos used for the final sand product will help buffer noise generated by the facility.

Noise from rail activity will be minimized through the rail loop track design.

The proposed Processing Facility water usage includes water used for washrooms, staff kitchen and fire suppression for emergencies. Additionally, an on-site septic system will treat wastewater in accordance with government regulations and guidelines. No water is needed for the Wet Plant as it will all be recycled in a loop system.

The Processing Facility is proposed to use 200 – 300 US gallons/day/person (or 757 – 1136 L/day/person), which is equivalent to the approximate daily household usage of a family of four or five people. The water needed at the facility site is therefore, not expected to affect local water users.

Local traffic
The increase in local area traffic will not be substantial; it will only be contained to only the Project construction contractors and operation staff. A one-kilometre (km) access road to the facility project site will intersect with PR 302. Most vehicles travelling to and from the site will travel 2 km on PR 302 to PTH 15. Because Sio Silica is committed to local hiring, most facility staff are expected to come from the local and regional areas within reasonable driving distance from the Project site.

Project Timeline

Sio Silica is moving forward with the Vivian Sand Project in four stages:  planning, regulatory, construction and operation.

The planning stage kicked-off in April 2019 when we held public meetings in Anola, Richer and La Broquerie to introduce Sio Silica and provide information about the potential for a future silica sand project in their regional areas, although the proposed location for the Processing Facility hadn’t been determined yet. We also met with residents, business owners, and other interested parties to introduce ourselves and gather input on things we should consider as we develop our plan. The initial planning stage also included environmental data collection and investigations, to enhance our understanding of the existing environment and community in the RM of Springfield. 

We are now in the regulatory phase, during which Sio Silica is submitting the Environment Act Licence applications to the Province and completing the necessary Municipal processes with the RM of Springfield.

We are excited about the opportunity to help grow the local economy but are committed to careful, thorough, and professional analysis as we work through the environmental approvals with the regulator and community stakeholders.

Vivian Sand Project Proposed Schedule Milestones

  • Facility Environment Act Licence Application: Submitted July 2020
    • Public engagement: Summer/Fall 2020
  • Independent and expert peer-reviewed hydrogeology and geochemistry assessment: Completed
  • Extraction Environment Act License Application: Submitted July 2021
  • Facility Construction: 2021-2022 (to be confirmed)
  • Year 1 Operations (commissioning, then product production for sale): 2022 (to be confirmed)

Growing Manitoba’s Economy

Sio Silica is making a long-term investment in Springfield. The Rural Municipality of Springfield will benefit from tax revenue, infrastructure improvements and increased direct (e.g., employment opportunities) and indirect investment in the community. Sio Silica’s investment in Springfield will also help support local programs and services, and new infrastructure that will benefit everyone, e.g., improved high-speed internet.

Manitobans will benefit from Sio Silica’s commitment to use Manitoba products, businesses and services, and to employ its people.

  • Construction of the processing facility is expected to directly employ 20-30 people, and indirectly employ up to up to 60 people through local suppliers and other businesses.
  • Once operational, Sio Silica will directly employ 90-100 people at the facility and extraction sites, and sustain many other local jobs through potential business opportunities related to the services required to support ongoing operations. It is expected that up to 250 indirect jobs will exist through local suppliers and contractors.
  • Get in Touch

Engaging the community is important to us. We believe that good planning involves the community and better decisions are made when different perspectives are considered.

We held a virtual open house on August 24 where we shared an update on our plans and answered lots of questions from the community. Thank you to everyone who participated.

If you missed the meeting or still have questions, please send us an email. We would be happy to have a call or a meeting with you.

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