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.

Loading new locations

Surfing in / Sand Mining

How to Steal a Beach

In Northern California’s Monterey Bay, a peculiar thing happens every time there’s a storm. The California Coastal Commission says that a mining operation has been illegally taking precious sand for years.

Comments Off on How to Steal a Beach

Namibia: Illegal Sand Miners to Face The Music

News, Sand Mining
Jul
12

Ever-escalating illegal sand mining operations which have been largely ignored over the years could soon become a thing of the past as government has warned that offenders would face the consequences of their actions.

Comments Off on Namibia: Illegal Sand Miners to Face The Music

Maha Oya Sand Mining To Affect Millions, Sri Lanka

News, Sand Mining
Jul
10

Excessive sand mining activities in the Maha Oya river had caused reduction of sand supply to the coastline, breaking the natural sand equilibrium of the beaches, a study reveals. The coastal stretch from Negombo to Chilaw has been identified as the most eroded coastline in Sri Lanka, of which between 80 and 85 per cent of the degradation is attributed to exacerbated sand mining in the Maha Oya.

Comments Off on Maha Oya Sand Mining To Affect Millions, Sri Lanka

Bill Marks Shoals as Sources for Beach Sand, NC

Senate leaders hit the brakes last week on a fast-moving set of amendments to state environmental laws with several coastal-related provisions, including one that would for the first time target North Carolina’s three great capes as a sources of sand for beach re-nourishment.

Comments Off on Bill Marks Shoals as Sources for Beach Sand, NC

Montserrat residents and former premier outraged at public beach sand mining

News, Sand Mining
Jun
10

Montserrat residents are outraged and seeking answers as to why vast amounts of sand are being removed from Foxes Bay Beach in the south of the island. New photos taken on the beach show the sand being collected and put into trucks belonging to a local mining company.

Comments Off on Montserrat residents and former premier outraged at public beach sand mining

Liberia: Sand Mining Threatens Coastal Town

Harper, a town at West Africa’s most southern location, on Cape Palmas, is seriously under threat of being swallowed by violent waves from the Atlantic Ocean. The threat of erosion is blamed on persistent local sand mining.

Comments Off on Liberia: Sand Mining Threatens Coastal Town

Lawyer speaks out on beach sand mining, Montserrat

Substantial quantity of sand is currently being removed from the southern end of Carrs Bay Beach, and area that is both environmentally and ecologically sensitive.

Comments Off on Lawyer speaks out on beach sand mining, Montserrat

North Stradbroke Island sand mining to end by 2019

kangourous-australie

Sand mining will come to an end on North Stradbroke Island by 2019, reversing a decision by the former Newman administration to extend Sibelco’s lease to 2035.

Comments Off on North Stradbroke Island sand mining to end by 2019

Biologist urges action on illegal sand mining, Antigua

News, Sand Mining
May
24

A local marine biologist is urging the authorities to take a firmer stance on the crime of sand mining at beaches across the Antigua & Barbuda.

Comments Off on Biologist urges action on illegal sand mining, Antigua

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.


  • Sand Mining Resources


  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Uganda: How Sand Mining Is Destroying Lake Victoria Catchment

    May 20th, 2016

    The expansive Lwera wetland is a major water catchment area that connects several rivers and wetlands in many districts and drains directly into Lake Victoria. For years on, the locals have lived in peace with the surroundings. However, over the past couple of months, sharp noises from sand dredgers are heard. Sand mining companies are breaching rules and are destroying the wetland.

    Read More

    Activist’s action against illegal sand mining near Kihim beach, India

    May 20th, 2016

    Activist Sumaira Abdulali, who has been threatened and attacked several times for raising the issue of sand mining, continues to raise awareness on the subject, to the local authorities.

    Read More

    Crimeans told to stop stealing sand from beaches

    May 18th, 2016

    Officials in Crimea are warning people to stop stealing sand from tourist beaches, or else face a prison sentence. The peninsula’s beaches are being targeted by people who remove the sand for use as free building material, and at more remote beaches it’s being taken away by the lorry-load.

    Read More

    Western Sahara: Illegal beach sand mining in Laâyoune

    May 18th, 2016

    Allegations of illegal beach sand mining activities, from Spanish mining company, in Laayoune, Western Sahara

    Read More

    Borneo – Malaysia: Machinery seized over illegal sand mining

    May 12th, 2016

    According to the Lands and Surveys Department record, the department has made numerous raids on illegal sand mining activities since 2015

    Read More

    Illegal Chinese Sand Mining Causing Massive Land Reduction in Kinmen

    May 9th, 2016

    From 2007 to 2012, the coastline in parts of Taiwan-governed Kinmen -located off the coast of southeastern China- has reduced more than 200 meters and the total land loss currently adds up to 250,000 square meters. Many experts and Kinmen locals, believe this ongoing phenomenon can be attributed to illegal Chinese sand miners operating along the coast.

    Read More

    “The Shore Break,” A Movie From Riley Grunenwald

    May 2nd, 2016

    A gorgeous stretch of the Wild Coast is the object of a standoff between corrupt pro-mining forces interested in mining the local beach sand for titanium, and a South African coastal community. The drama is structured around two diametrically opposed protagonists. A film review by Variety.

    Read More

    The Archipelago with Ubiquitous Land Reclamation Projects

    April 28th, 2016

    Whilst reclamation in Jakarta and Bali are more well-known due to the frequent reporting and public controversies, similar projects are also either being planned or underway in other regions across Indonesia.

    Read More

    French mayor draws a line in the beach sand

    April 27th, 2016

    The growing global sand and gravel exploitation has not spared France’s beaches either. Under what has been called the “Le Matelier project,” two companies are considering extracting about 13-million cubic metres of beach sand and gravel for 30 years, in the Gironde estuary.

    Read More

    Nigeria – Akwa Ibom: Illegal sand mining threatens Calabar-Itu, Mkpok bridges

    April 12th, 2016

    The unregulated activities of illegal sand miners in Akwa Ibom State is not only causing large damage to the environment, but also threatening the foundation of some critical assets in the state such as the Mkpok bridge in Onna Local Government Area and the strategic Calabar-Itu bridge in Itu Local Government Area of the state.

    Read More