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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Researchers turn carbon dioxide into sustainable concrete

sand-mining-mumbai

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

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Sand Mining at Poyang Lake, China

poyang-mining-2013

When you see the vast expanses of sand in the Sahara and other major deserts, it is hard to comprehend how sand could ever be a resource in short supply. Yet for certain types, the supply of sand is indeed short.

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Indonesia’s contested land reclamation projects

Bali Plastic Pollution

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

gary-griggs-cemex-fig6
News, Sand Mining
Mar
20

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

north-stra

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

diani-beach

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

zanzibar

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

trcuks-bags-beach-2

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

hong-kong

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

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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

    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.

    Read More

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

    gary-griggs-cemex-fig6

    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.

    Read More

    Fraser Island tourism is proof Straddie will survive sand mining exit

    north-stra

    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.

    Read More

    Company accused of willfully destroying Kenya’s best beach

    diani-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.

    Read More

    Tanzania: Rising Sea Ruins Isles Beaches

    zanzibar

    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.

    Read More

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

    trcuks-bags-beach-2

    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.

    Read More

    Penang’s land reclamation may harm coastal communities, Malaysia

    hong-kong

    February 9th, 2016

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

    Read More

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

    sand-mining-coastal-care

    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.

    Read More

    Trimex to invest Rs. 2,500 cr. on beach sand mining, Andhra Pradesh

    sand-mining-mumbai

    January 19th, 2016

    Indian mineral sand producer Trimex Group, will invest Rs. 2,500 crore (373 million USD) on mining beach minerals at Bhavanapadu and Kalingapatnam, two coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh state, located on the southeastern coast of the country. The company proposes the mining of 10 MTPA (10 million tonnes per annum) of heavy mineral sand along with pre-concentration plant of 1,525 tonne per hour.

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    Negril Chamber Outraged Over Sand-Mining Operations, Jamaica

    sand-barges

    January 16th, 2016

    The Negril Chamber of Commerce has expressed outrage at what it says appears to be shady sand mining activities connected to major hotel developments in Negril and elsewhere on the North Coast.

    Read More