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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Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

Mining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deep-sea ecosystems, says a new study of seabed mining proposals around the world. The deep sea (depths below 200m) covers about half of the Earth’s surface and is home to a vast range of species.

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South Africa: Setback for Giant West Coast Mine Project

News, Sand Mining
Jan
22

The government has rejected an application by a controversial Australian mining company for a huge expansion of its existing Tormin heavy mineral sands mine near Koekenaap on the West Coast. Tormin has been in operation since October 2013, produces heavy sands minerals from the beach.

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Monaco’s $2.3bn project to expand into Mediterranean Sea

Now construction has begun on a €2 billion ($2.3 billion) project to extend the natural contour of Monaco’s coastline a further 15 acres into the Mediterranean.

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Did sand from Australia’s east coast get sent to Hawaii?

kangourous-australie

Is it true that back in the day, they used to mine sand at the beach?

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Running out of sand: in numbers

Sand and gravel are the most-extracted materials in the world. The UN believes that sand and gravel, or aggregates, account for up to 85 percent of all mining activity around the world, measured in weight.

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Bahamas sand to fill in Florida beaches? Congress gave OK for study but no funding

The 2016 Water Resources Development Act authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to study using foreign sand, such as from the Bahamas, to widen shorelines without resorting to expensive and inefficient truck hauls from inland mines. A year later the study remains unfunded in the agency’s budget.

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Quick sand, dirty Money; South Africa

Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban. Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durban’s rivers, enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools. This sand would normally be deposited on beaches and help offset coastal erosion. At current mining rates, Durban’s beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year.

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Bottles Become Sand at Globally Recognized Ranch at Laguna Beach

According to General Manager Kurt Bjorkman, the resort is the first property in the continental United States to use a GL Sand Machine that turns beer and wine bottles into sand that can be used to replenish the sand in bunkers on the resort’s golf course or the sand at the nearby beach.

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Could we run out of sand? Because we are going through it fast

On parts of the shoreline in the Moroccan beach town of Tangier, something is amiss. Though the ocean is there — its waves lapping, crashing and roaring as they have since time immemorial — it is not a place for long days of lazing on soft sand. Because there isn’t any.

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Sand Mining

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Learn simple things that you can do to help protect beaches starting with simply educating others about the beach thereby helping us celebrate the beauty of the world’s beaches.


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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    South Africa: Setback for Giant West Coast Mine Project

    January 22nd, 2018

    The government has rejected an application by a controversial Australian mining company for a huge expansion of its existing Tormin heavy mineral sands mine near Koekenaap on the West Coast. Tormin has been in operation since October 2013, produces heavy sands minerals from the beach.

    Read More

    Monaco’s $2.3bn project to expand into Mediterranean Sea

    January 8th, 2018

    Now construction has begun on a €2 billion ($2.3 billion) project to extend the natural contour of Monaco’s coastline a further 15 acres into the Mediterranean.

    Read More

    Did sand from Australia’s east coast get sent to Hawaii?

    kangourous-australie

    December 26th, 2017

    Is it true that back in the day, they used to mine sand at the beach?

    Read More

    Running out of sand: in numbers

    December 26th, 2017

    Sand and gravel are the most-extracted materials in the world. The UN believes that sand and gravel, or aggregates, account for up to 85 percent of all mining activity around the world, measured in weight.

    Read More

    Bahamas sand to fill in Florida beaches? Congress gave OK for study but no funding

    December 21st, 2017

    The 2016 Water Resources Development Act authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to study using foreign sand, such as from the Bahamas, to widen shorelines without resorting to expensive and inefficient truck hauls from inland mines. A year later the study remains unfunded in the agency’s budget.

    Read More

    Quick sand, dirty Money; South Africa

    December 6th, 2017

    Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban. Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durban’s rivers, enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools. This sand would normally be deposited on beaches and help offset coastal erosion. At current mining rates, Durban’s beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year.

    Read More

    Bottles Become Sand at Globally Recognized Ranch at Laguna Beach

    December 4th, 2017

    According to General Manager Kurt Bjorkman, the resort is the first property in the continental United States to use a GL Sand Machine that turns beer and wine bottles into sand that can be used to replenish the sand in bunkers on the resort’s golf course or the sand at the nearby beach.

    Read More

    Could we run out of sand? Because we are going through it fast

    November 28th, 2017

    On parts of the shoreline in the Moroccan beach town of Tangier, something is amiss. Though the ocean is there — its waves lapping, crashing and roaring as they have since time immemorial — it is not a place for long days of lazing on soft sand. Because there isn’t any.

    Read More

    Sand miners are stripping bare Moroccan beaches; By Ghalia Kadiri / Le Monde

    November 24th, 2017

    Legal and illegal sand miners are competing in the race to provide sand for use in the construction industry. The traffic is such that entire beaches are disappearing.

    Read More

    The global resource shortage you have never heard about

    November 20th, 2017

    If someone were to ask you to name the most-extracted materials on Earth, you might answer with fossil fuels or biomass. However, by weight, the answer is actually sand and gravel.

    Read More