silica and moulding sands association (samsa) part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA)


silica and moulding
sands association


Who we are


The Silica and Moulding Sands Association (SAMSA) was founded in 1941.

It is now a constituent body of the Mineral Products Association. SAMSA is a member of the European Industrial Minerals Association (IMA Europe) and makes a significant contribution to the operation of the IMA Europe silica producers’ section, EUROSIL.

Silica sand is of great importance to a wide variety of UK industries, being an essential raw material for their production processes. These industries include the glass, foundry, ceramics, sports and leisure, paints, plastics, sealants and adhesives, oil and gas, horticulture and agricultural sectors.

SAMSA represents the interests of UK silica producers and also, crucially, the downstream industries that rely so heavily upon this material to operate. Much of the time this involves helping to shape new UK and European legislation in order to ensure that a pragmatic and common sense outcome is reached, especially for mineral planning and health and safety issues.

Beginning with naturally occurring and naturally varying silica deposits in the ground, specialised extraction and mineral processing techniques are used to deliver silica sand products of consistent quality that have been designed to satisfy the demanding specifications of customers in each industry sector. There are several different types of silica sand, each with its own particular properties. These include glass sands, foundry sands, root zone, top dressing and sports turf sands, ménage sand, water filtration sand, equestrian sand and kiln dried paving sands.

SAMSA membership is open to silica extractors and processors and currently the membership represents ten of the UK's leading producers.

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