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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Delta State Government Bans the Dredging of Sand, Nigeria

The Niger Delta State Government has banned the dredging of sand in the 25 local governments. Commissioner for Environment Frank Omare said yesterday after a meeting with sand dredgers in Asaba, the state capital, that the directive was to save communities from ecological disaster.

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Mining Black Sand, Lingayen, Philippines

The black sand of coastal villages facing the Lingayen Gulf, Philippines, is being mined for magnetite, a highly-valuable mineral used by industrial companies. The once pristine beaches are now destroyed and coastal erosion alarms residents.

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Singapore Raises Sea Defences Against Tide of Climate Change

A 15-km (10 mile) stretch of crisp white beach is one of the key battlegrounds in Singapore’s campaign to defend its “hard-won” territory against rising sea levels linked to climate change…

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Australia’s Government Plans To Increase Sand Dredging In Great Barrier Of Reef Area

Figures obtained through Senate Estimates reveal more than 112 million cubic metres – or 65 Melbourne Cricket Grounds – are proposed to be dredged from the Great Barrier Reef​ World Heritage area, with 52 million cubic metres already approved by the Federal Government.

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Tatai River Sand Dredging Resumes, Cambodia

News, Sand Mining

In October Ly Yong Phat’s LYP Group had respected an agreement to stop sand dredging on the Tatai River in Koh Kong province by mid-October. But rather than respecting the written agreement from July 16, LYP had simply subcontracted out to another company to keep on dredging sand.

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Vietnam: Police Takes Action Against Illegal Sand Dredging

Bien Hoa City Police and the waterway traffic police in the southern province of Dong Nai, gave chase to nine boats seen illegally dredging sand.

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EPA Implicates Fracking In Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking, a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells, may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.

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Fishing Community Against Mining Sea For Sand, India

Fishing community in the Kerala state, under the banner of the National Fishworkers Forum, has opposed finance minister K M Mani’s suggestion to mine sea sand for use in local construction, and sand exportation, mainly to Singapore.

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Chinese Boat Seized Over Illegal Sand Mining In Kinmen, Taiwan

Coastguards have arrested the captain of a chinese sand dredger illegally dredging sand in Kinmen waters. So far it is the fourth chinese boat arrested for attempting to steal sand from around the island.

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Sand Mining

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    Sand Piracy: More about Singapore Sand Issues

    August 11th, 2010

    Singapore’s economy rests upon maintaining a huge and continuous supply of sand, and smuggling sand has become a multibillion-dollar trade, in a country renowned for honest business practices and corporal punishment.

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    The Women Sand Thieves, Video

    August 5th, 2010

    Every day, hundreds of women scrape, shovel, dig, sift and hoard beach sand by the tons.

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    CAMBODIA: Sand dredging prompts fishermen’s protests

    August 4th, 2010

    Prime Minister Hun Sen banned sand exports in May 2009, yet sand mining continues in Koh Kong Province, the epicentre of the country’s corrupt dredging industry. Dredgers remove 25,000 tons of sand each day from the Cambodian seas to export.

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    When sand mining starts, wildlife disappears, Selangor, Malaysia

    July 18th, 2010

    Wetlands in danger due to sand mining.

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    48 Illegal Sand Mining Fields Found in Hunan, China

    July 9th, 2010

    Turning this key flood prevention battlefield into a money spinner for sandstone raiders.

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    Sand mining ban for North Stradbroke Island, Australia

    June 23rd, 2010

    After 50 years of mining, Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, announced that the Government will progressively halt sand mining.

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    Government of Morocco on Tar Sands potential.

    June 19th, 2010

    There are ten oil shale deposits in Morocco, and the three most-explored, and therefore the most likely to begin commercial production in the near future, are near the city of Tangier, near the Mediterranean sea.

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    Sand mining renders land erosion in Kerala

    June 8th, 2010

    A centuries old farming village on the Kerala coastline is on the verge of being washed away by the sea.

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    Scotland pristine white sand targeted by thieves in midnight raids

    June 6th, 2010

    Tiree’s stretches of pristine white sand have been targeted by thieves stealing tonne upon tonne of sand.

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    The damages caused by Singapore’s insatiable thirst for land

    June 4th, 2010

    Fuelled by Singapore’s land and construction demands sand mining is wreaking environmental destruction across south-east Asia.

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