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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The Women Sand Thieves, Video

Every day, hundreds of women scrape, shovel, dig, sift and hoard beach sand by the tons.

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CAMBODIA: Sand dredging prompts fishermen’s protests

Prime Minister Hun Sen banned sand exports in May 2009, yet sand mining continues in Koh Kong Province, the epicentre of the country’s corrupt dredging industry. Dredgers remove 25,000 tons of sand each day from the Cambodian seas to export.

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When sand mining starts, wildlife disappears, Selangor, Malaysia

News, Sand Mining
Jul
18

Wetlands in danger due to sand mining.

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48 Illegal Sand Mining Fields Found in Hunan, China

Turning this key flood prevention battlefield into a money spinner for sandstone raiders.

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Sand mining ban for North Stradbroke Island, Australia

News, Sand Mining
Jun
23

After 50 years of mining, Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, announced that the Government will progressively halt sand mining.

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Government of Morocco on Tar Sands potential.

News, Sand Mining
Jun
19

There are ten oil shale deposits in Morocco, and the three most-explored, and therefore the most likely to begin commercial production in the near future, are near the city of Tangier, near the Mediterranean sea.

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Sand mining renders land erosion in Kerala

A centuries old farming village on the Kerala coastline is on the verge of being washed away by the sea.

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Scotland pristine white sand targeted by thieves in midnight raids

Tiree’s stretches of pristine white sand have been targeted by thieves stealing tonne upon tonne of sand.

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The damages caused by Singapore’s insatiable thirst for land

Fuelled by Singapore’s land and construction demands sand mining is wreaking environmental destruction across south-east Asia.

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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.


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Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


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