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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Turbidity Caused by Sand Dredging Heightens Toxicity Levels and Threaten Marine Life

Monitoring stations at Gladstone Harbour recorded dangerously high turbidity levels due to sand dredging, at the same time as UNESCO was issuing dire warnings about the possible degradation of the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status…

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UN Warns Australia To Protect The Great Barrier Of Reef

UNESCO has warned Australia not to allow development of new ports along the Great Barrier Reef, as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder is under threat from unprecedented coastal development. UNESCO has given Australia eight months to improve management of the Great Barrier Reef before it is listed as in danger.

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India’s Illegal Sand Mining Fuels Boom, Ravages Rivers

News, Sand Mining
May
22

The sand-mining frenzy, as it is happening right now in western India, illustrates one of the most important questions India faces in its march to become a 21st-century economic powerhouse: Can this nation of 1.2 billion people pursue economic growth without destroying its environment?

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Supreme Court Asked to Halt Black Sand Mining, Philippines

News, Sand Mining
May
10

To prevent further destruction of the coastline, public officials and concerned citizens filed with the Supreme Court to issue a writ against a mining project to extract black sand.

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Former Sand Mining Site Being Considered for up to 2000 Homes, New South Wales

News, Sand Mining
Apr
24

The Kurnell sand dune system is estimated to be about 15,000 years old, and sand mining on the Kurnell peninsula has depleted the area of much of the sand that was originally there. A former mining site, is now considered for housing up to 2000 homes.. a disaster in waiting environmentalists said.

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Newspaper Editor Charged For Sand Mining

News, Sand Mining
Apr
24

A Grenadian Newspaper editor, who has used his newspaper to expose what he sees as corruption in Grenada, has been arrested and charged for illegally extracting sand from the beaches…

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Lagos ready to battle illegal sand miners, Nigeria

News, Sand Mining
Apr
16

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday said the government had no choice but to wage “serious war” against illegal sand miners in the state.

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Sand Mining Throughout Coastal Liberia

The city of Buchanan, Liberia, is gradually being swept away by sea erosion. But there is an even more serious matter – an impending environmental danger- that should claim the urgent attention of the government. It is the issue of sand mining in Monrovia and its environs.

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Council Votes To End Sand Mining, Barbuda

The Barbuda Council has voted to end beach sand mining, bowing to pressure from within its ranks and environmentalists, after several reports indicated that the operation posed serious health and safety risks.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    No sand mining in fishing areas, India

    February 15th, 2011

    The State government cancelled all the sand mining leases in in coastal areas and would not be giving out new licences.

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    Raised Awareness on Illegal Sand Mining, St Kitts

    February 13th, 2011

    Illegal sand mining across St. Kitts, has become more pronounced with the boom in the construction industry. As a result, several problems have arisen and it became necessary, as a means of deterrence, to educate the general public on the negative effects of the unlawful activity.

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    Whole coastline of Namibia is designated a national park

    February 11th, 2011

    Namibia has become what is thought to be the first country to designate its entire coastline a national park. Namibia designates its entire 976-mile coastline a national park, consolidating several existing preserves into the 26.6 million-acre Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park.

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    Singapore Extends Its Coastlines With Illegally Dredged Sand

    February 9th, 2011

    Singapore, one of the world’s most prosperous and fastest growing economies, is being accused of expanding its coastline with illegally dredged sand from neighboring states.

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    First Artificial Island to Be Built In The Americas

    January 31st, 2011

    Boskalis is sourcing the sand for the land reclamation process from its own borrow area…

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    Beach mining study bodes well for prospectors

    January 30th, 2011

    Beach mining has received favorable reviews in a two-year study conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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    Illegal Sand Miners Remain Unfazed, India

    January 20th, 2011

    Illegal mining of sand along Mumbai and Maharashtra’s picturesque Konkan coast is threatening to destroy the fragile western coastline. This activity is being done in gross violation of the new coastal regulation norm that has banned sand mining along beaches and creeks.

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    Uncontrolled Sand Mining Days Numbered, Namibia

    January 4th, 2011

    While sand mining in the Swakop River is a crucial element of coastal development, concern is mounting over the uncontrolled sand mining taking place in the Swakop River, which is creating dangerous conditions as well as causing severe environmental damage.

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    Sydney’s Beach protection attempt may carry price tag of $700m

    December 20th, 2010

    Preserving Sydney’s beaches against rising sea levels could cost more than $700 million over the next 50 years and would require the government to reverse its long-standing position regarding offshore sand mining.

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    Illegal Sea Sand Dredging Leaves Behind Environmental Mess, China

    December 8th, 2010

    China’s economic boom has triggered unprecedented number of construction projects. The regular supply of sand has almost run out and many construction firms have been using sand from the sea, illegally, and leaving behind an environmental mess. The coastline in Rizhao, Shandong, has retreated more than 100 meters due to excessive sea sand dredging.

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