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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Midnight Sand Markets Flourish Post Ban, Andhra Pradesh State, India

News, Sand Mining

The midnight-to-morning sand market (a routine feature every night) had customers jostling and haggling for the best deal, some even indulging in panic buying with traders hard selling that sand supply from neighbouring states would stop in a few days… And sky is the limit for a ton of sand.

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Boom Time For Illegal Sand Mining, Kerala State, India

News, Sand Mining

With the coastal city of Kozhikode’s construction sector flourishing, illegal sand mining and misuse of sand passes have spawned a multi-crore business, setting off a range of social, legal and environmental issues.

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Destroying Paradise To Make Concrete Blocks: Sand Mining In Sierra Leone

Sand Mining

A new threat has emerged that risks destroying Sierra Leone’s eco-tourism untapped opportunities for sustainable development: Sand Mining. The free-sand-for-all bonanza just exploded. Without permits, hundreds of trucks attack the beaches on a daily basis, hiring local boys as daily laborers to destroy their own communities…

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Singapore And Jurong Island Reclamation

News, Sand Mining

Singapore’s phase 4 of Jurong Island reclamation is scheduled to begin September 15.

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Opposition to Beach Sand Mining Mounts, India

The Akhila Bharata Rythu Coolie Sangham and other organisations are vehemently opposing the sand mining activity in Vajrapukotturu — situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh on India’s southeastern coast — as they believe that it is detrimental to the interests of fishermen and other communities that depend on the sea for their livelihood.

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Crackdown Planned On Illegal River Sand Mining, China

News, Sand Mining

To regulate the river sand market, the Guangdong provincial government has launched a large-scale crackdown on illicit river sand mining gangs.

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Papua New Guinea’s Seabed To Be Mined For Gold And Copper

A new frontier in mining is set to be opened up by the underwater extraction of resources from the seabed off the coast of Papua New Guinea, despite vehement objections from environmentalists and local activists.

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Houses Built on Sand

News, Sand Mining

The excessive extraction of oceanic sand has caused the large-scale erosion of China’s shoreline and fisheries, while a lack of regulation has allowed unstable sand to be used in construction.

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Residents outraged over sand mine plan, Australia

Sand Mining

Cape Cleveland residents are furious a sand mine is a step closer to approval, despite being less than a kilometre away from an internationally protected wetland.

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Sand Mining

You can make a difference and help save our beaches

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.

Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Sand mining Is Booming Along With Fracking

    September 27th, 2011

    Fracking, the latest craze in the quest to produce oil and gas, has been blamed for environmental problems ranging from flammable tap water to minor earthquakes. Now a new risk is emerging: sand mining. To squeeze hydrocarbons out of shale through hydraulic fracturing of the rock, the process known as fracking, producers need to pump an enormous amount of sand into the ground.

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    World’s Largest Sea Turtle Nesting Beach in Peril Orissa Due to Massive Erosion

    August 20th, 2011

    Wildlife activists are concerned over gradual destruction of the traditional nesting grounds of Olive Ridley sea turtles at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary on Orissa coast, following massive and illegal sand dredging at the Mahanadi river mouth.

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    Sand For Sale: Environment Ravages

    August 18th, 2011

    The “king Of Koh Kong” has defied an order endorsed by the Cambodia’s Prime Minster to halt his controversial and environmentally damaging sand dredging activities on the Tatai river in Koh Kong.

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    Ghana’s Ongoing Battle Against Coastal erosion

    August 9th, 2011

    According to estimates, the ocean claims 1.5 to 2 metres of the 539- kilometres Ghana coastline annually; with the most risky coastal areas, Ada Foah and the Eastern parts of Keta, recording 4 metres. Ghana’s Government decided on a costly and controversial project: the building of a 68 million euros, 30 kms “Ada Defense Sea Wall” to “salvage the people in the area from the ravages of the sea…”

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    Cambodia: A Stop Order To Excessive Sand Dredging

    July 25th, 2011

    The “King of Koh Kong” has been ordered to stop his company’s massive sand dredging operation on the Tatai river amid concerns it is decimating the environment and ruining the tourist trade.

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    Sand Dredging Operations Of “Unprecedented Scale,” Cambodia

    cambodia koh-kong-coastal

    June 29th, 2011

    Sand dredgers have resumed operations of “unprecedented scale” in Koh Kong province’s salt-water estuaries since May, after a drop-off in dredging activities as a result of a 2009 sand-export ban.

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    Ongoing Sand Mining Mafia, Konkan coast, India

    June 20th, 2011

    Sand mining had come to a near standstill last year after the Bombay High Court banned it, however Maharashtra’s creeks and the Konkan coast and beaches do remain prey to the sand mafia.

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    Cuba: Sea levels to rise more than 30 in. by 2100

    June 17th, 2011

    Cuban scientists warn that right now it is urgent to preserve mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass and sand beaches. Each of these ecosystems is a natural barrier to defend the coasts from the impact of climate change and sea level rise. Most of the 400 beaches of Cuba’s territory are affected by erosion with a receding coastline estimated at 1.2 meters per year.

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    Coast Guards Take Action Against Illegal Sand Dredging

    May 9th, 2011

    China’s construction boom has created a strong demand for sand, a key element in making concrete, fueling an explosion in illegal sea sand dredging.

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    Concerns Over Sand Mining and Beaches Alterations, Chennai Coast, India

    April 19th, 2011

    With the new Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) 2011 notification, exploiting the coastline of Chennai, East of India, becomes that much more difficult. But loop holes are found everywhere, and concerns mount over sand mining and other alterations of the beaches’ natural state.

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