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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Barbuda Sandmining Nears Disaster Levels

News, Sand Mining
Mar
24

There have been renewed calls for an end to sand mining operations in Barbuda, as this activity has reached a stage that could spell an environmental disaster for Barbuda island..

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Dubai’s Staggering Growth

To expand the possibilities for beachfront development, Dubai undertook a massive and controversial engineering project to create hundreds of artificial islands along its Persian Gulf coastline. Built from sand dredged from the sea floor, the islands are shaped in recognizable forms such as palm trees. The construction of the various islands off the coast of Dubai has resulted in changes in area wildlife, coastal erosion and alongshore sediment transport, and wave patterns.

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Some Relief for the Reef

United Nations experts will be presented with a petition that has more than 100,000 signatures on it, calling for an end to dredging and development near the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland.

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Emissions from Oil Sands Mining

Using data from a NASA satellite, researchers have found that the emission of pollutants from oil sands mining operations are comparable to the emissions from a large power plant or a moderately sized city.

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UN Team Examines Mining Threat to Great Barrier of Reef

A UN team has arrived in Australia to investigate possible damage to the Great Barrier Reef by the mining industry.

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Delta State Government Bans the Dredging of Sand, Nigeria

The Niger Delta State Government has banned the dredging of sand in the 25 local governments. Commissioner for Environment Frank Omare said yesterday after a meeting with sand dredgers in Asaba, the state capital, that the directive was to save communities from ecological disaster.

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Mining Black Sand, Lingayen, Philippines

The black sand of coastal villages facing the Lingayen Gulf, Philippines, is being mined for magnetite, a highly-valuable mineral used by industrial companies. The once pristine beaches are now destroyed and coastal erosion alarms residents.

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Singapore Raises Sea Defences Against Tide of Climate Change

A 15-km (10 mile) stretch of crisp white beach is one of the key battlegrounds in Singapore’s campaign to defend its “hard-won” territory against rising sea levels linked to climate change…

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Australia’s Government Plans To Increase Sand Dredging In Great Barrier Of Reef Area

Figures obtained through Senate Estimates reveal more than 112 million cubic metres – or 65 Melbourne Cricket Grounds – are proposed to be dredged from the Great Barrier Reef​ World Heritage area, with 52 million cubic metres already approved by the Federal Government.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Nigeria: Continuous Sand Mining and Dredging Cause Concerns

    sand-mining

    November 12th, 2010

    Continued dredging in the state’s shorelines have been described as an illegal activity capable of causing major environmental challenge for Lagos in its bid for environmental sustainability.

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    Ban on Sand Dredging by Machines Suggested in Coastal Konkan, India

    October 25th, 2010

    After refusing to lift the stay to sand mining in Maharashtra, Bombay High Court suggested that the government may think of banning sand dredging by machines in the coastal Konkan area.

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    New Beach Sand Mining Restriction in The Turks and Caicos

    October 9th, 2010

    Measures are being put in place to regulate beach sand mining in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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    How sand mining mafia is plundering beaches and creeks

    October 6th, 2010

    The entire coastal region in India, especially the west coast, will be denuded of natural sand, if the sector is not regulated. Most of Maharashtra’s beaches will resemble lunar surfaces, with the sand mined completely, leaving only a rocky shore.

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    Lagos Expansion Into Atlantic Ocean, Nigeria

    October 5th, 2010

    By 2016, Lagos will get a new city to be built on nine million square metres of reclaimed land about 2.4 kilometres into the Atlantic Ocean, south of Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island.

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    Mechanised Sand Mining to Attract Criminal Action

    October 2nd, 2010

    Facing strong criticism from the Opposition and environmentalists over wisespread quarrying of sand in the Tamirabarani river basin in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts and Palar river basin in Vellore and Kanchipuram, chief minister M. Karunanidhi ordered the ban on mechanised sand quarrying.

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    Sand Piracy: More about Singapore Sand Issues

    August 11th, 2010

    Singapore’s economy rests upon maintaining a huge and continuous supply of sand, and smuggling sand has become a multibillion-dollar trade, in a country renowned for honest business practices and corporal punishment.

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    The Women Sand Thieves, Video

    August 5th, 2010

    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

    August 4th, 2010

    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

    July 18th, 2010

    Wetlands in danger due to sand mining.

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