History and Ownership of EP Minerals, a U.S. Silica Company
In 1843, brothers Edgar and Stephen J. Conkling began manufacturing paint pigments under the brand name Eagle. In 1916, Judge Oliver Picher merged his lead mining company with the Eagle Paint Company to form Eagle-Picher Lead. This forerunner of the current company began the steady process of transforming the company into an industry leader by offering the most advanced products and technology of the time.
In 1945, the Company acquired diatomaceous earth (DE) deposits outside Reno, Nevada in what's known today as Clark. Today, the Clark plant produces soil amendments, absorbents, and carriers as well as natural filter aids and functional additives.
The world's largest producing DE plant was commissioned in 1959 in Lovelock, Nevada. Its three kilns produce calcined and flux-calcined filter aids and functional additives.
EP Minerals also produces DE in its Vale, Oregon plant. Vale was commissioned in 1985 and the second kiln was added in 1997. Its two kilns produce calcined and flux-calcined filter aids, functional additives, and low iron brewing grades.
In 1993, EP Minerals entered the perlite business with the start-up of our first perlite expander at the Lovelock Plant. The expander produces a special grade of perlite which is particularly suited for filtration of sweeteners, viscous materials, and swimming pool water. It is also used as an insulator in fire-proof steel doors.
With the acquisition of the Moltan Company in early 2013, EP Minerals gained additional mines and processing sites in Fernley, Nevada and Middleton, Tennessee. This increased our capacity for absorbent DE products and also allowed EP to enter the clay market.
Our U.S. processing sites are supported by a Corporate office in Reno and a team of Regional Sales Managers located across the United States.
On the international level, we have a team based in Munster, Germany, offering Sales and Marketing, Logistics, Finance, and Administrative support to customers in Europe and parts of Africa. EPME (EP Minerals, Europe) was established in 1994.
EP Minerals has an Asia-based team that supports customers throughout Asia and Australia.
Our products are used in a variety of applications for customers around the world. DE is used in applications such as paint and plastics, oil absorbents, pharmaceuticals, and in the purification of waste water and petro-chemicals. DE is used extensively in food and beverage filtration applications including wine and brewing, corn wet milling, potable water, and fruit juices. Granular clay absorbent products are used in cat litter, environmental remediation, oil spill removal, and soil amendments for sports fields.
Today, EP Minerals is known as the “go to" company when a challenging application requires a solution. EP Minerals has long been in the forefront of technological innovation; our customers depend on our being able to solve their needs no matter how complex or challenging.
EP Minerals has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the President's “E" Certificate for excellence in exporting. This prestigious honor was awarded for our outstanding contribution to the Export Expansion Program of the United States of America.
On May 1, 2018, EP Minerals was acquired by U.S. Silica (SLCA) a leading producer of commercial silica used in the oil and gas industry, and in a wide range of industrial applications. Over its 118-year history, U.S. Silica has developed core competencies in mining, processing, logistics, and materials science that enables it to produce and cost-effectively deliver over 200 products to customers. The Company currently operates nine industrial sand production plants and eight oil and gas sand production plants. The Company is headquartered in Katy, Texas, and also has offices located in Chicago, Illinois and Houston, Texas.
The sand mined by U.S. Silica is used primarily in hydraulic fracturing in the Oil & Gas industry and a wide range of industrial products serving the housing and automotive end markets, through its Industrial & Specialties Products division, which is also focused on new product development for paint and coatings, filtration, absorbents, and recreation.