Key Ingredient Supplier of Silica Sand in Northern California
The G3 Byron sand mine in east Contra Costa County has supplied key raw materials to the northern California glass manufacturing, construction, building materials, and landscaping industries since the 1960s. In 2011, G3 Enterprises acquired the mine as part of its broader strategy to support the wine and spirits industry. The G3 Byron plant operates 365 days/year, providing reliable service and superior products from our mine near Brentwood and Tracy. We recently expanded the mine to include the EVO Quarry.
G3 Byron sand originates from the Domengine geologic formation, a 50-million-year-old marine deposit accessible only in the San Francisco Bay Area. G3 Byron sand is the only commercially available feldspathic sand in Northern California. Its unique chemistry is ideal for glass manufacturing, construction, and landscaping.
G3 Byron sand is water-washed to remove residual clay and other contaminants, then kiln-dried and dry screened to produce a variety of specialized products. G3 Byron sand is white, flowable, ideal for use in ballpark turf (natural and artificial surfaces), golf course top dressing and bunkers, commercial/industrial applications (grout, flooring surfaces, sand blast media), water filtration media, horse arena footing, and utility pipe trench bedding.
We offer two primary mixtures: fine and coarse grade sand. Our fine sand ranges in size from 30 to 200 mesh, ideal for glass manufacturing, mortar, surface coatings, horse arenas, and volleyball courts. Our coarse sand ranges in size from 20 to 30 mesh and is ideal for turf applications, trench backfill, and water well packing where high water permeability is important. We can also prepare unique blends for large projects.
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 available within 24 hours.
We operate in strict compliance with Federal and California mine safety and environmental regulations.
Silica for Recyclable Glass Bottles
Glass is 100% recyclable. Although most glass is recycled, natural 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
Sand for Sport Field Turf, Commercial Landscaping, Golf Course Top Dressing & Bunkers
G3 Byron sand is widely used for landscaping applications and meets the same exacting manufacturing standards as sand used to manufacture glass containers.
Sand is water-washed to remove residual clay through a series of hydrosizers. Wet sand is dried at temperatures up to 150°F, and dry screened to produce a finished product meeting consistent particle size specifications. Uniform particle size provide consistent water permeability and aeration across all landscaping applications, greatly reducing grass and artificial turf surface irregularity. Drying sand at elevated temperatures greatly reduces foreign seed contamination.
Available in both bulk and supersacks, G3 Byron sand is ideal for both natural and artificial sports field surfaces.
G3 Byron sand is the product of choice for top dressing and bunkers for golf courses across the Bay Area and Northern California.
Superior Aeration and Water Infiltration Rates
G3 Byron's premium top dressing sand meets USGA specifications for golf course greens, tee boxes, and fairways. G3 Byron sand provides the superior soil aeration and water percolation that sustains healthy grass root systems and smooth playing surfaces. The extremely low clay content (less than 1%) eliminates sand bridging in spreader equipment and makes G3 Byron sand easy to apply. G3 Byron sand far exceeds USGA specifications for bunker sand. Sub-angular, with a penetrometer value exceeding 2.5 kg/cm2, G3 Byron will stay in place on bunker faces and offers high resistance to “fried-egg” lies. By blending fine and coarse sand, we can produce sand with water infiltration rates ranging from 40 in/hr to more than 150 in/hr - well above the USGA requirement of 20 in/hr. Bunkers can be customized to drain quickly from irrigation overspray and rain, resist crusting, and keep their form on bunker faces.
Sand for Utility Trench Fill and Bedding
G3 Byron sand offers excellent placement, compaction and mechanical properties for subsurface pipeline bedding and backfill. Its high silica composition 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. G3 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.
Sand for Horse Arena Footing
Horse arenas are constructed and maintained with a custom blend of footing additives and sand. G3 Byron sand, ranging in size from 30 mesh to 200 mesh, is all-natural and sub-angular, offering excellent cushioning and controlled rolling. Our sand is water-washed and dry screened to produce a finished product with low dust and uniform particle size distribution. We can blend our fine sand (30 to 200 mesh) and coarse sand (20 to 30 mesh) to meet the unique requirements of individual arenas.
Building Specialty Sands
G3 Byron’s natural sub-angular sand is washed and screened to control fines (reduce dust), with sand particles ranging in size from 20 to 60 mesh. G3 Byron sand is a key ingredient in tile grout, plaster, epoxy mixes, decorative pavers, and anti-skid surfacing. Samples are available for trial testing.
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.
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 Solar 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.
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.
100% Recycling Water
The mine recycles 100% of its process water. Sand is water-washed to remove clay with the wastewater returned to settling ponds to clarify for subsequent reuse in the plant. Water recovered from our dust control equipment is also recycled using the same settling ponds. Water retention ponds offer a diverse habitat for native wildlife, including migratory birds. At the end of the mine life, the ponds will be reclaimed and revegetated to match the surrounding terrain and repurposed as natural cattle grazing land.
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.
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 (RWQCB)
Mining Operating Agencies Include:
- California Office of Mine Reclamation (OMR)
- Contra Costa County
- US Army Corp of Engineers
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)
As a family-owned business, we care about the future of the industries we serve: glass manufacturing, golf course builders and superintendents, landscape companies, builders and contractors. We actively support industry organizations and events such as: