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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Sand Is in Such High Demand, People Are Stealing Tons of It

As strange as it may sound, sand is one of the world’s hottest commodities. The global construction boom has created an insatiable appetite for sand, the chief ingredient for making concrete. The problem is that sand isn’t as abundant as it used to be. And when high demand and high value meets scarcity, you open the doors to smuggling.

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He who controls the sand: the mining ‘mafias’ killing each other to build cities

In Kenya, as in most of the developing world, cities are growing at a frenzied pace. Creating buildings to house all the people and the roads to knit them together requires prodigious quantities of sand. As the price of sand goes up, the ‘mafias’ get more involved.

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Ignoring state threats, firm keeps sucking sand from Monterey Bay

The Lapis Sand Plant, in operation since 1906, is the nation’s last coastal sand mine. The California Coastal Commission has threatened to close the plant, but the company refuses to relinquish its claim to the uniquely coarse amber-colored Monterey sand, which it calls “Lapis Lustre.” But Cemex is the world’s second largest building materials company, and any attempt to kick it out is likely to immerse the state in years of expensive litigation.

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Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of

From Cambodia to California, industrial-scale sand mining is causing wildlife to die, local trade to wither and bridges to collapse. And booming urbanisation means the demand for this increasingly valuable resource is unlikely to let up.

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Surveillance system, special squads to stop beach mineral mining; India

News, Sand Mining
Feb
26

Deployment of sand mining surveillance system and patrol by special squads along coastal districts, especially those rich with major minerals, are some of the steps contemplated by Tamil Nadu government to prevent plunder of major minerals in the four southernmost coastal districts.

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How a Brewer is helping save NZ beaches by recycling used beer bottles back into sand

News, Sand Mining
Feb
21

New Zealand beer brand DB Export is recycling its used bottles to make a man-made sand – an effort the company hopes will help preserve our beaches. The company hopes the programme will help cut down the amount of sand dredged from beaches. The average Kiwi consumer uses more than 200kg of sand each year, most of which comes from beaches. It’s a non-renewable resource and is also used to make glass.

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The Market For African Beach Sand: Who’s Buying, Selling And Mining It?

Sand mining on beaches and in riverbeds is a source of income for unemployed Africans, but it’s often an unregulated — or under-regulated — business. Environmental impact is a growing concern.

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Sand mining decimates African beaches

What do houses, streets, telephones and microchips have in common? They all contain processed sand. Now African countries are raising the alarm because of their disappearing beaches…

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Illegal sand mining uprooted 25 trees at Nandgaon beach, says NGO

News, Sand Mining
Feb
10

The impact of illegal sand mining is being felt at Raigad district in Maharashtra, as NGO Awaaz Foundation identified 25 trees uprooted by alleged mechanical dredging at Nandgaon beach.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Ignoring state threats, firm keeps sucking sand from Monterey Bay

    March 3rd, 2017

    The Lapis Sand Plant, in operation since 1906, is the nation’s last coastal sand mine. The California Coastal Commission has threatened to close the plant, but the company refuses to relinquish its claim to the uniquely coarse amber-colored Monterey sand, which it calls “Lapis Lustre.” But Cemex is the world’s second largest building materials company, and any attempt to kick it out is likely to immerse the state in years of expensive litigation.

    Read More

    Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of

    February 27th, 2017

    From Cambodia to California, industrial-scale sand mining is causing wildlife to die, local trade to wither and bridges to collapse. And booming urbanisation means the demand for this increasingly valuable resource is unlikely to let up.

    Read More

    Surveillance system, special squads to stop beach mineral mining; India

    February 26th, 2017

    Deployment of sand mining surveillance system and patrol by special squads along coastal districts, especially those rich with major minerals, are some of the steps contemplated by Tamil Nadu government to prevent plunder of major minerals in the four southernmost coastal districts.

    Read More

    How a Brewer is helping save NZ beaches by recycling used beer bottles back into sand

    February 21st, 2017

    New Zealand beer brand DB Export is recycling its used bottles to make a man-made sand – an effort the company hopes will help preserve our beaches. The company hopes the programme will help cut down the amount of sand dredged from beaches. The average Kiwi consumer uses more than 200kg of sand each year, most of which comes from beaches. It’s a non-renewable resource and is also used to make glass.

    Read More

    The Market For African Beach Sand: Who’s Buying, Selling And Mining It?

    February 17th, 2017

    Sand mining on beaches and in riverbeds is a source of income for unemployed Africans, but it’s often an unregulated — or under-regulated — business. Environmental impact is a growing concern.

    Read More

    Sand mining decimates African beaches

    February 15th, 2017

    What do houses, streets, telephones and microchips have in common? They all contain processed sand. Now African countries are raising the alarm because of their disappearing beaches…

    Read More

    Illegal sand mining uprooted 25 trees at Nandgaon beach, says NGO

    February 10th, 2017

    The impact of illegal sand mining is being felt at Raigad district in Maharashtra, as NGO Awaaz Foundation identified 25 trees uprooted by alleged mechanical dredging at Nandgaon beach.

    Read More

    Are we loving our beaches to death? Survey says ‘yes’

    February 5th, 2017

    A new survey has found almost two-thirds of New Zealanders believed beach erosion was worse than it was 20 years ago, and most were worried that some beaches might vanish forever. In many cases, New Zealand’s beaches were paying the price for overwhelming public popularity.

    Read More

    An Engineer Explains Why Trump’s Wall Is So Implausible

    January 25th, 2017

    A New York-based structural engineer, estimated that a 1,900-mile concrete wall – seemingly Trump’s original plan – would require about 339 million cubic feet (12.5 million cubic yards) of concrete. That is three times more than the Hoover Dam, that would be greater in volume than all six pyramids of the Giza Necropolis, and such quantity of concrete could pave a one-lane road from New York to Los Angeles, going the long way around the Earth.

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    Fishermen, beach builders fight for underwater sand hills

    January 14th, 2017

    Just a few miles off New Jersey’s coast is a series of underwater hills on the ocean floor, made of perfect-quality beach sand tens of thousands of years old. The value of these ancient sand hills to sea life, fishermen, scientists and beach-building engineers has set up a fight between those who would protect them and those who would mine them. And that battle is expected to intensify as rising sea levels are expected to magnify.

    Read More