Sand Mining

Beach Sand mining on the beach in Morocco View Sand Mining Gallery

The world’s beaches are being mined for sand for a variety of uses (aggregate in concrete, fill, beach renourishment). The practice is often very destructive and poorly managed (or unmanaged). This is a global phenomenon (Morocco, Caribbean Islands, India, South Africa and more). This theft of beach and dune sand is a direct cause of erosion along many shorelines. It is very damaging to the beach fauna and flora, ruinous to beach aesthetics, and frequently causes environmental damage to other coastal ecosystems associated with the beach such as wetlands.

Another major impact of beach sand mining is the loss of protection from storms surges associated with tropical cyclones and tsunamis. Some communities affected by the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean had higher storm surges probably due to beach sand mining resulting in fatalities. Sometimes it is difficult to tell that a beach has been mined. Sand extraction becomes difficult to recognize as the beach readjusts to a new profile after a few storms. But historic accounts of beaches in the Caribbean often reveal that beaches have been narrowed considerably. Mining is particularly senseless in a time of rising sea level when sand is sorely needed as a storm energy buffer.

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Israel: Police arrest contractors in illegal sand mining conspiracy

News, Sand Mining
Jul
27

Though it may sound counterintuitive to steal and sell sand in a desert region like the Middle East, sand mining is big business. For years sand mining has been a major source of income for organized crime figures.

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Laos: Chinese demand for sand and cement delivers wage for Laotian workers – but is destroying the Mekong

News, Sand Mining
Jul
27

China world’s top consumer of sand – devouring more than 60 per cent of the global output and using more in four years than the US did in the entire 20th century.

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West Bengal: Green hopes run dry as rampant mining goes unchecked

News, Sand Mining
Jul
24

Rampant illegal sand mining and excavation of boulders from river beds are threatening the ecology of several rivers and all the three major river basins in West Bengal. Estimates suggest that there are at least 500 quarries in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts alone.

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Castles made of sand

How big industries’ use of sand has compromised the health of California’s beaches and what recent action against the CEMEX plant means for the Monterey Bay.

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How to Steal a Beach

In Northern California’s Monterey Bay, a peculiar thing happens every time there’s a storm. The California Coastal Commission says that a mining operation has been illegally taking precious sand for years.

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Namibia: Illegal Sand Miners to Face The Music

News, Sand Mining
Jul
12

Ever-escalating illegal sand mining operations which have been largely ignored over the years could soon become a thing of the past as government has warned that offenders would face the consequences of their actions.

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Maha Oya Sand Mining To Affect Millions, Sri Lanka

News, Sand Mining
Jul
10

Excessive sand mining activities in the Maha Oya river had caused reduction of sand supply to the coastline, breaking the natural sand equilibrium of the beaches, a study reveals. The coastal stretch from Negombo to Chilaw has been identified as the most eroded coastline in Sri Lanka, of which between 80 and 85 per cent of the degradation is attributed to exacerbated sand mining in the Maha Oya.

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Bill Marks Shoals as Sources for Beach Sand, NC

Senate leaders hit the brakes last week on a fast-moving set of amendments to state environmental laws with several coastal-related provisions, including one that would for the first time target North Carolina’s three great capes as a sources of sand for beach re-nourishment.

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Montserrat residents and former premier outraged at public beach sand mining

News, Sand Mining
Jun
10

Montserrat residents are outraged and seeking answers as to why vast amounts of sand are being removed from Foxes Bay Beach in the south of the island. New photos taken on the beach show the sand being collected and put into trucks belonging to a local mining company.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Liberia: Sand Mining Threatens Coastal Town

    June 5th, 2016

    Harper, a town at West Africa’s most southern location, on Cape Palmas, is seriously under threat of being swallowed by violent waves from the Atlantic Ocean. The threat of erosion is blamed on persistent local sand mining.

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    Lawyer speaks out on beach sand mining, Montserrat

    June 2nd, 2016

    Substantial quantity of sand is currently being removed from the southern end of Carrs Bay Beach, and area that is both environmentally and ecologically sensitive.

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    North Stradbroke Island sand mining to end by 2019

    kangourous-australie

    June 1st, 2016

    Sand mining will come to an end on North Stradbroke Island by 2019, reversing a decision by the former Newman administration to extend Sibelco’s lease to 2035.

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    Biologist urges action on illegal sand mining, Antigua

    May 24th, 2016

    A local marine biologist is urging the authorities to take a firmer stance on the crime of sand mining at beaches across the Antigua & Barbuda.

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    Uganda: How Sand Mining Is Destroying Lake Victoria Catchment

    May 20th, 2016

    The expansive Lwera wetland is a major water catchment area that connects several rivers and wetlands in many districts and drains directly into Lake Victoria. For years on, the locals have lived in peace with the surroundings. However, over the past couple of months, sharp noises from sand dredgers are heard. Sand mining companies are breaching rules and are destroying the wetland.

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    Activist’s action against illegal sand mining near Kihim beach, India

    May 20th, 2016

    Activist Sumaira Abdulali, who has been threatened and attacked several times for raising the issue of sand mining, continues to raise awareness on the subject, to the local authorities.

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    Crimeans told to stop stealing sand from beaches

    May 18th, 2016

    Officials in Crimea are warning people to stop stealing sand from tourist beaches, or else face a prison sentence. The peninsula’s beaches are being targeted by people who remove the sand for use as free building material, and at more remote beaches it’s being taken away by the lorry-load.

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    Western Sahara: Illegal beach sand mining in Laâyoune

    May 18th, 2016

    Allegations of illegal beach sand mining activities, from Spanish mining company, in Laayoune, Western Sahara

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    Borneo – Malaysia: Machinery seized over illegal sand mining

    May 12th, 2016

    According to the Lands and Surveys Department record, the department has made numerous raids on illegal sand mining activities since 2015

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    Illegal Chinese Sand Mining Causing Massive Land Reduction in Kinmen

    May 9th, 2016

    From 2007 to 2012, the coastline in parts of Taiwan-governed Kinmen -located off the coast of southeastern China- has reduced more than 200 meters and the total land loss currently adds up to 250,000 square meters. Many experts and Kinmen locals, believe this ongoing phenomenon can be attributed to illegal Chinese sand miners operating along the coast.

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