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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An Assessment of the Impact of Sand Mining: Unguja, Zanzibar, Tanzania

In mainland Tanzania, in comparison to Zanzibar, sand mining is done mainly along the coast and in river beds. This does a great deal of damage because it destabilizes the river banks and may collapse any bridges along them. On the contrary, mining in Zanzibar is generally done on the coastal beaches or in the hinterland areas that are richer in available sand.

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Indonesia: land right activists killed for protesting illegal sand mining

Legal and illegal mining has become a serious concern over the past five years in Indonesia. Such exploitation of natural resources has contributed to a number of human rights violations in Indonesia, such as murder, torture, attacks, illegal detention, land grabbing and forced eviction.

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The Last Wave, Andaman Islands

Environmentalist, freelance journalist, photographer and author Pankaj Sekhsaria has spent 20 years studying and fighting for the ecology of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. His first fiction novel ‘Last Wave’ about these islands, published in 2014, is getting released in Goa along with his photo exhibition.

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Sand Storm: $750 Million Worth of The Material is Unaccounted For in Cambodia

News, Sand Mining
Nov
11

Nearly 50 civil society organizations called for the Cambodian government to join some other Southeast Asian nations and ban or severely restrict exports of sand to Singapore after it was revealed that nearly $750 million worth of the building material has disappeared from the country.

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Officials confirm some Kailua Beach Park sand is going to city golf courses

Kailua residents are demanding answers after a dump truck filled with sand was spotted leaving Kailua Beach Park and heading to town. Residents say it was all the more suspect because of the Kuhio Beach erosion headlines at the same time.

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West Africa Is Being Swallowed by the Sea

Encroaching waters off the coast of Togo, Ghana, Mauritania, and others are destroying homes, schools, fish, and a way of life.

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South Africa: Authorities Finally Move Against Australian Sand Mining Company

News, Sand Mining
Oct
20

Tormin’s mining practice, which deviated significantly from the original environmental authorisation provisions of the mining license, has been in the spotlight since the mine began operations in March 2014. These include the construction of structures on the beach zone, mining directly on the beaches, and questions about a massive collapse of the sea cliffs below the mine processing plant.

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Sand Mining Threatens Homes In Duazon, Liberia

News, Sand Mining
Oct
18

People investing thousands of dollars in residential buildings near the Atlantic Beach in Duazon risk losing their properties as a result of rampant sand mining there.

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The Rising Environmental Toll Of China’s Offshore Island Grab

To stake its claim in the strategic South China Sea, China is building airstrips, ports, and other facilities on disputed islands and reefs. Scientists say the activities are destroying key coral reef ecosystems and will heighten the risks of a fisheries collapse in the region.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    South Africa: Authorities Finally Move Against Australian Sand Mining Company

    October 20th, 2016

    Tormin’s mining practice, which deviated significantly from the original environmental authorisation provisions of the mining license, has been in the spotlight since the mine began operations in March 2014. These include the construction of structures on the beach zone, mining directly on the beaches, and questions about a massive collapse of the sea cliffs below the mine processing plant.

    Read More

    Sand Mining Threatens Homes In Duazon, Liberia

    October 18th, 2016

    People investing thousands of dollars in residential buildings near the Atlantic Beach in Duazon risk losing their properties as a result of rampant sand mining there.

    Read More

    The Rising Environmental Toll Of China’s Offshore Island Grab

    October 13th, 2016

    To stake its claim in the strategic South China Sea, China is building airstrips, ports, and other facilities on disputed islands and reefs. Scientists say the activities are destroying key coral reef ecosystems and will heighten the risks of a fisheries collapse in the region.

    Read More

    Sand extraction from Titas triggers erosion

    October 12th, 2016

    Illegal extractions of sand from the River Titas in Sarail and Brahmanbaria Sadar Upazila are going on unabated intensifying threat of erosion in the nearby villages, local residents said.

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    Indians at risk of flooding powerless to stem the tide of illegal sand mining

    October 10th, 2016

    As rising sea levels threaten to engulf homes along the shores of Tamil Nadu state, locals fear the erosion of the coastline is due to the illegal sand trade.

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    Illegal sand mining — the open secret of a multi-million crore scam, India

    October 7th, 2016

    India’s booming 157 billion dollar construction sector is expected to grow in the coming years. This means that the demand for sand and other minor minerals will increase as well, making it more difficult for the government to curb the methodical and unlawful abuse of riverbeds and coastal areas.

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    Belgium is to build its first artificial island off the coast, as climate change mitigation

    October 4th, 2016

    Amid rising seas, Belgium plans on building an artificial island off its coast, in a step towards climate change mitigation. 8 millions euros have been provided in funding of the project study.

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    Money and sand: will there be enough for New Jersey’s beaches?

    September 30th, 2016

    Beach replenishment is costly and exacts a heavy toll on the environment, depleting underwater ridges that are home to a broad variety of sea life. Skeptics questioned how the state and Army Corps of Engineers can commit to spending nearly $2 billion in beach replenishment through the mid 21st century.

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    Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future

    September 30th, 2016

    The man-made, hugely popular summer Paris-Plages beaches along the Seine River, could be without sand next year, after complaints about the project’s disastrous ecological footprint and allegations that the company delivering the sand had “paid taxes” to Isis.

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    Coastal Sand is Being Depleted, and It’s Taking Our Beaches With It

    September 24th, 2016

    While conservationists champion the reduction of the world’s resources, one important material right at our toes has gone largely unnoticed. Coastal sands are being heavily mined, diminishing the world’s beaches.

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