Key Ingredient Supplier
of Quartz Silica Sand in
Northern California

The Byron sand mine in east Contra Costa County has supplied key raw materials to the northern California glass manufacturing and landscaping industry since the 1960s. In 2011, the mine was acquired by G3 Enterprises as part of its broader strategy to support the wine and spirits industry. The Byron plant operates 365 days/year, providing reliable service and superior products.

Byron sand originates from the Domengine geologic formation, a 50-million-year-old marine deposit accessible only in the San Francisco Bay Area. Byron sand is the only commercially available feldspathic sand in Northern California. Its unique chemistry is ideal for glass manufacturing, construction, and landscaping.

Byron sand is extensively water-washed to remove contaminants and residual clay, then dried and screened to produce a variety of specialized products. Byron sand is flowable, ideal for use in landscape top dressing, horse arena footing, and utility trench bedding.

G3 Minerals is proud of our reliable record of delivering consistent, high-quality products. We test finished product daily for silica purity, alumina and iron content, and particle size distribution. Product is released for sale only after meeting rigorous quality control standards. Analytical reports are issued to customers within 24 hours.

We operate in strict compliance with Federal and California mine safety and environmental regulations. After the sand reserves at the mine are exhausted, the property will be reclaimed to native grassland and agricultural use.

Natural Silica for
Recyclable Glass Bottles

Despite the extensive recycling of glass, native quartz remains a key ingredient in the manufacturing of glass containers, including wine bottles. G3 is the only supplier of Feldspathic silica sand to glass container manufacturers in Northern and Central California.

The Highest Quality Control Standards

G3 silica sand meets the exacting quality control standards required for glass manufacturing. Product specifications include:

  • A silica (SiO2) content greater than 90%
  • Alumina (AI2O3) content from 3.5 to 5.0%
  • Iron oxide (Fe2O3) less than 0.2%
  • Particle size distribution supports superior quartz melting characteristics

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Natural Sand for
Landscaping, Golf Course
Top Dressing & Bunkers

Our Byron sand landscaping products meet the same exacting manufacturing standards as our glass containers. The sand particles are "all-natural," which means they are not produced by grinding silica, and they are not recovered from aggregates that contain contaminates.

First, the sand is water-washed to remove residual clay through a series of hydrocyclones. Then the clean, wet sand is dried at temperatures up to 150°F, and screened to produce a finished product with a consistent particle size distribution. These uniform particle sizes provide consistent soil-water permeability and aeration across all landscaping applications, greatly reducing grass surface irregularity. In addition, drying the sand at an elevated temperature greatly reduces foreign seed contamination.

Superior Aeration and Water
Infiltration Rates

The extremely low clay content (less than 2%) eliminates sand bridging in spreader equipment and makes Byron sand easy to apply. G3 produces premium top dressing sand that meets USGA specifications for golf course greens, tee boxes, and fairways. Byron sand provides the superior soil aeration and water percolation that sustains healthy grass root systems and smooths playing surfaces. Byron sand also far exceeds USGA specifications for bunker sand. Because our sand is sub-angular, with a penetrometer value exceeding 2.5 kg/cm2, it will stay in place on bunker faces and offers high resistance to “fried-egg” lies. And with an infiltration rate of more than 150 in/hr—far above the USGA requirement of 20 in/hr—bunkers drain quickly from irrigation overspray and rain, and resist crusting.

Sands Tech Sheet

Filler Sand for Trench,
Bedding, & Other Commercial
Construction Applications

Our sand offers excellent placement, compaction and mechanical properties for subsurface pipeline bedding and backfill. Its high silica content and low clay content, combined with low-levels of soluble ions, alkaline and alkaline oxides, makes it ideal for construction by providing nonreactive service in most corrosive and exposed environments. Byron sand meets PG&E’s EG 4123 standards for imported sand used in bedding and backfill in trenches for electric conduit and gas pipelines. Our coarse sand product has a Coefficient of Uniformity that exceeds 2.5 and a resistivity greater than 20,000 ohm-cm, 4 times the minimum PG&E requirement of 5,000 ohm-cm.

(860) 443-4664

Various Product Applications

We offer a variety of sand mixtures to meet the unique blending formulas demanded for ball park turf and horse arenas. Byron’s natural sub-angular sand is washed and screened to control fines (reduce dust), with sand particles ranging in size the 40 to 100 mesh. Samples are available for trial testing.

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Environmental Stewardship
& Sustainability

Silica sand, a natural raw material, is an important component in the production of 100% recyclable glass containers—a core element of the G3 commitment to sustainability. The sand is also used for top dressing and bunker sand in golf courses, bedding in horse arenas, and surfaces in community parks. When sand reserves are exhausted, Byron’s sand quarries will be reclaimed to former agricultural use and native grassland.

G3 believes that a healthy environment is critical to business success. Employing sustainable practices minimizes environmental impact. Some of the methods we use to promote a green environment include:

Using Alternative Energy

In 2013, G3 installed a 1 MW photovoltaic solar system. This alternative energy system is expected to provide up to 30% of electrical operating cost and save up to 1.8 million kWh of energy every year.

See Live Monitoring of Solar Power Generation

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Sand ore is conveyed in water slurry pipelines from the quarry to a central processing facility, thereby eliminating truck traffic and noise.

Recycling Water

The mine recycles 100% of processed water. Water retention ponds offer a diverse habitat for native wildlife, including migratory birds.

Preserving Long-Term Wildlife Habitats

G3 offers local ranchers open land on the boundary of the property for cattle grazing. At the end of the mine life, the property will be restored to native grassland habitat, consistent with the regional objectives to retain open space.

Regulatory Compliance

We operate under strict federal and California regulatory oversight.

Environmental Agencies Include:

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
  • California Regional Water Quality Control Board (BARWQCB)

Mining Operating Agencies Include:

  • US Army Corp of Engineer
  • California Office of Mine Reclamation (OMR)
  • Contra Costa County

Safety is our Priority

Safety is at the core of our mining operations. G3 has an exceptional safety record, with an excellent reputation among regulatory agencies.

  • US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
  • Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)