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

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.

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An Engineer Explains Why Trump’s Wall Is So Implausible

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

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.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    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.

    Read More

    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

    Pictures Show How Modern Life Is Altering the Natural World

    January 12th, 2017

    Every part of modern life is touched by technology, and every part of technology requires something that once came from the ground: the silicon dioxide in your cell phone, the phosphorous to grow your food, the copper in the wires that brought this article to your eyes, and a thousand other examples. This is the imprint photographer Edward Burtynsky felt compelled to capture.

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    Sand Mining Project Targets Wetlands; Wisconsin

    January 11th, 2017

    An investment company wants to build a sand mining and processing plant in 2 Wisconsin counties, that would eliminate about 17 acres of pristine forested wetland. Wetlands are valuable habits for fish and wildlife and control flooding. Approval of the project would mean the largest single loss of wetlands for a sand project in the region, since at least 2008.

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    Leave beach sand alone, Vancouver warns on Day 3 of salt shortage frenzy

    January 9th, 2017

    As ice continues to plague parts of Metro Vancouver, some beach-goers were spotted scooping up sand from Kitsilano Beach. Stealing a pail of beach sand is not a solution to Vancouver’s road salt shortage – and it could result in a hefty fine.

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    Us Warned: “Hands Off Our Beaches!”

    January 4th, 2017

    The US is looking at Bahamian sand as a resource to shore-up Florida’s eroding coastline.

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    The Jersey Shore’s “ghost tracks”

    December 20th, 2016

    They are called the “ghost tracks” of Cape May County beach. And until a couple of years ago, no one had seen them in about 80 years.

    Read More

    Government’s ambitious 2030 land reclamation plan to cost HK$400 billion

    December 10th, 2016

    The government’s grand long-term blueprint for Hong Kong, which envisions a 1,000-hectare man-made island in the middle of the sea, could cost over HK$400 billion, a concern group estimated.

    Read More