Winona County commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to approve a conditional use permit for the county's first frac sand mine.
An initial application for the 20-acre mine in Saratoga Township was denied after a temporary moratorium on frac sand mining in 2012. A second application was submitted after the moratorium expired.
Minnesota is home to a fast-growing frac sand industry, fueled by the oil boom in neighboring North Dakota. Silica sand is used in hydraulic fracturing -- commonly known as fracking -- to get natural gas and oil out of the ground.