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Northern Frac Proppants L.L.C. yesterday announced its recently acquired frac sand mine and processing plant in Alma Center, Wis., has achieved first-phase production levels, marking the successful start up and operation of a rail-served frac sand facility near Black River Falls, Wis."Demand for our northern white frac sand proppant has caused us to accelerate plans to bring online our additional processing facilities in key locations in Wisconsin located on different Class I rail lines to better serve customers in all major North American shale plays," said Northern Frac Proppants Chief Operating Officer Dan Koxlien in a press release.The Alma Center facility/mine and a processing plant in Wood County, Wis., are projected to produce more than 1 million tons of frac sand annually. Additional planned facilities will increase production to more than 2.5 million tons annually, Northern Frac Proppants officials said."Continued strong customer demand and successful operating achievements such as these are moving us closer to full-scale, steady-state operation at all our planned frac sand sites, which is expected to occur over the next 18 months," said President Jeff Alston.