Sand bandits: Fracking boom drives new gold rush

The Globe and Mail

For years, sand has been one of the world’s most sought-after commodities. A decades-long construction boom in many of the world’s mega-cities has created insatiable demand. But in recent years, another industry has ignited a frenzy of new demand for the ancient commodity. Hydraulic fracking, the process of extracting natural gas by injecting millions of gallons of chemicals into the ground, relies on sand as a vital component.