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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Journalist investigating illegal sand mining cases run over by truck, MP, India

News, Sand Mining
Mar
26

A journalist investigating illegal sand mining cases in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh was run over by a truck on Monday, media reports said.

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Sand Mining in Uganda Poses a Serious Threat to the Environment

News, Sand Mining
Mar
25

Environmentalists in Uganda say an important wetland that runs along a highway linking the capital city of Kampala to the southwestern town of Masaka is being harmed by aggressive dredging to extract sand.

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Sand: the new gold

This is one of the most consumed natural resources in the world. In cambodia, its mining as lead to an environmental catastrophe, while in singapore sand has contributed to 24% of the island’s expansion.

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Schoolboys employed in sand mining, Tamil Nadu, India

Poverty and proximity to riverbeds have been weaning away a number of children studying in government schools and pushing them into sand mining. The sand mafia, in a bid to find cheap labour, has been using schoolchildren to lift sand from the riverbeds. The unsuspecting youngsters fall prey to the designs of the mafia, tempted by the money on offer.

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Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered species

Across Asia, rampant extraction of sand for construction is eroding coastlines and scouring waterways. t’s a global concern, but especially acute in Asia, where all trends show that urbanization and the region’s big construction boom are going to continue for many years.

Comments Off on Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered species

This Sardinian Town May Ban Towels to Save Popular Beach

News, Sand Mining
Feb
20

La Pelosa-one of the Italian island’s more popular beaches—might be banning towels and large beach bags to preserve its sand dunes. The announcement was made earlier this week by Mayor Antonio Diana, who plans to enact strict measures to save the beach.

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Factbox: Sifting Through U.S. Beach Sand Numbers

Here is a summary of what Florida and other coastal states and communities have been doing to protect and rebuild their shorelines based on to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) data.

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Demand for sand leads to global ecological crisis

Every day, miners remove 5,500 to 6,000 truckloads of sand (about 20 tons each) from the scenic beachfronts and 17 river basins of Tamil Nadu, India. Fueled by a real estate boom estimated to generate $180 billion annually by 2020, India is digging 500 million metric tons of sand every year, feeding an industry worth more than $50 billion. And India’s hunger is bound to increase…

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Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

Mining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deep-sea ecosystems, says a new study of seabed mining proposals around the world. The deep sea (depths below 200m) covers about half of the Earth’s surface and is home to a vast range of species.

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Sand Mining

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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.


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Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Sand Mining in Uganda Poses a Serious Threat to the Environment

    March 25th, 2018

    Environmentalists in Uganda say an important wetland that runs along a highway linking the capital city of Kampala to the southwestern town of Masaka is being harmed by aggressive dredging to extract sand.

    Read More

    Sand: the new gold

    March 5th, 2018

    This is one of the most consumed natural resources in the world. In cambodia, its mining as lead to an environmental catastrophe, while in singapore sand has contributed to 24% of the island’s expansion.

    Read More

    Schoolboys employed in sand mining, Tamil Nadu, India

    March 3rd, 2018

    Poverty and proximity to riverbeds have been weaning away a number of children studying in government schools and pushing them into sand mining. The sand mafia, in a bid to find cheap labour, has been using schoolchildren to lift sand from the riverbeds. The unsuspecting youngsters fall prey to the designs of the mafia, tempted by the money on offer.

    Read More

    Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered species

    March 3rd, 2018

    Across Asia, rampant extraction of sand for construction is eroding coastlines and scouring waterways. t’s a global concern, but especially acute in Asia, where all trends show that urbanization and the region’s big construction boom are going to continue for many years.

    Read More

    This Sardinian Town May Ban Towels to Save Popular Beach

    February 20th, 2018

    La Pelosa-one of the Italian island’s more popular beaches—might be banning towels and large beach bags to preserve its sand dunes. The announcement was made earlier this week by Mayor Antonio Diana, who plans to enact strict measures to save the beach.

    Read More

    Factbox: Sifting Through U.S. Beach Sand Numbers

    February 17th, 2018

    Here is a summary of what Florida and other coastal states and communities have been doing to protect and rebuild their shorelines based on to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) data.

    Read More

    Demand for sand leads to global ecological crisis

    February 8th, 2018

    Every day, miners remove 5,500 to 6,000 truckloads of sand (about 20 tons each) from the scenic beachfronts and 17 river basins of Tamil Nadu, India. Fueled by a real estate boom estimated to generate $180 billion annually by 2020, India is digging 500 million metric tons of sand every year, feeding an industry worth more than $50 billion. And India’s hunger is bound to increase…

    Read More

    Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

    January 23rd, 2018

    Mining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deep-sea ecosystems, says a new study of seabed mining proposals around the world. The deep sea (depths below 200m) covers about half of the Earth’s surface and is home to a vast range of species.

    Read More

    South Africa: Setback for Giant West Coast Mine Project

    January 22nd, 2018

    The government has rejected an application by a controversial Australian mining company for a huge expansion of its existing Tormin heavy mineral sands mine near Koekenaap on the West Coast. Tormin has been in operation since October 2013, produces heavy sands minerals from the beach.

    Read More

    Monaco’s $2.3bn project to expand into Mediterranean Sea

    January 8th, 2018

    Now construction has begun on a €2 billion ($2.3 billion) project to extend the natural contour of Monaco’s coastline a further 15 acres into the Mediterranean.

    Read More