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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Surfing in / Sand Mining

Liberia: Sand Mining Threatens Coastal Town

monrovia-beach

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

montserrat-rob-young

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

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.

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Biologist urges action on illegal sand mining, Antigua

barbuda-sand-mining-slr
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

victoria-lake-uganda
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

sand-miner-mumbai-india

Activist Sumatra 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

sand-mining-coastal-care
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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Illegal Chinese Sand Mining Causing Massive Land Reduction in Kinmen

hong-kong-sand-barge

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.

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“The Shore Break,” A Movie From Riley Grunenwald

the-shore-break-trailer

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.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    North Stradbroke Island sand mining to end by 2019

    kangourous-australie

    June 1st, 2016

    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.

    Read More

    Biologist urges action on illegal sand mining, Antigua

    barbuda-sand-mining-slr

    May 24th, 2016

    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.

    Read More

    Uganda: How Sand Mining Is Destroying Lake Victoria Catchment

    victoria-lake-uganda

    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

    sand-miner-mumbai-india

    May 20th, 2016

    Activist Sumatra 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

    sand-mining-coastal-care

    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

    Illegal Chinese Sand Mining Causing Massive Land Reduction in Kinmen

    hong-kong-sand-barge

    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

    the-shore-break-trailer

    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

    sand-barges

    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

    beach-sand-mining

    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.

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    Researchers turn carbon dioxide into sustainable concrete

    sand-mining-mumbai

    April 9th, 2016

    The new building material could transform polluting emissions into a valuable resource.

    Read More