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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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North Stradbroke Island sand mining to end by 2019

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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.

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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.

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Uganda: How Sand Mining Is Destroying Lake Victoria Catchment

News, Sand Mining
May
20

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.

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

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.

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Crimeans told to stop stealing sand from beaches

News, Sand Mining
May
18

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.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Sand Mining in Grenada, Video

    April 6th, 2016

    St. Andrew residents are voicing concerns about the spate of sand mining taking place on a community beach. The men, one a culture ambassador, called in the media to witness excavators removing sand from the beach.

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    Indonesia’s contested land reclamation projects

    Bali Plastic Pollution

    April 5th, 2016

    There are more than 15 planned reclamation projects across Indonesia, including a $3 billion project to build artificial islands in the middle of Benoa Bay in Bali. This proposed reclamation has spawned one of the largest environmental movements in Indonesia’s history.

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    Breaking: Coastal Commission brings down the hammer on Cemex, CA

    March 20th, 2016

    The California Coastal Commission informed Cemex that it must shut down its sand mining operation in Marina, or face formal cease and desist and restoration order proceedings as well as administrative penalties.

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    Fraser Island tourism is proof Straddie will survive sand mining exit

    March 9th, 2016

    Former Australian’s prime minister Malcolm Fraser, began the process of ending sand mining on Fraser Island in 1976, which finally succeeded in 1996 when the island was listed as a World Heritage site.

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    Company accused of willfully destroying Kenya’s best beach

    March 7th, 2016

    The nightmare of sandless Diani beaches is looming large again after Chinese company, the China Roads and Bridge Corporation, decided to appeal a decision by the Kenyan environmental tribunal that no more dredging was permitted off Diani beach without a full environmental and social impact assessment study.

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    Tanzania: Rising Sea Ruins Isles Beaches

    February 24th, 2016

    The Union Government cannot just look at Zanzibar sinking without providing help, said officials after a short tour to areas affected by erosion caused by the sea rise. Negative impacts of climate change in the Islands are real, and aggravated by people’s unnecessary cutting down of trees, and illegal mining to get sand and stones as building materials.

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    Grain by Grain, Truck by Truck: How Myanmar Is Losing its Beaches

    February 14th, 2016

    Around every corner waits a new truck. Workers dig their shovels into the powdery white sand of Myanmar’s Ngapali beach, the country’s top seaside destination, and lift it onto the truck beds. Vast craters dot the coastline.

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    Penang’s land reclamation may harm coastal communities, Malaysia

    February 9th, 2016

    Environmental NGO says such projects could also harm the environment and cause erosion, as well as loss of coastal resources.

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    Illegal sand-miners flourish in unguarded coastal areas, Malabar Coast, India

    February 3rd, 2016

    Cashing in on scarcity and the high price of river sand in the open market, illegal sand-mining gangs have turned their attention to the coastal areas of Kozhikode – the second largest city and urban agglomeration in Kerala State – and supply salty sand to the construction industry.

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    Senegal President asks the Government to take measures to stop illegal beach and dunes sand mining along Senegal coast

    January 21st, 2016

    Senegal President asks the Government to take measures to stop illegal beach and dunes sand mining along Senegal coast.

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