Silica | Minerals Education CoalitionAlso called silica sand or quartz sand, silica is silicon dioxide (SiO2). Silicon compounds are the most significant component of the Earth's crust. Since sand is plentiful, easy to mine and relatively easy to process, it is the primary ore source of silicon. The metamorphic rock, quartzite, is another source.silica and mining,Silica Sand Mining & the Environment - Minnesota Department of .Silica Sand is… a material that forms rock, soil, sand, and other parts of the earth. Over many years, silica in the soil can form into crystalline silica due to natural heat and pressure. Silica Sand is used for… industrial and commercial processes like glass-making, road-building, , hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production.