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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Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future

News, Sand Mining
Sep
30

The man-made, hugely popular summer Paris-Plages beaches along the Seine River, could be without sand next year, after complaints about the project’s disastrous ecological footprint and allegations that the company delivering the sand had “paid taxes” to Isis.

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Coastal Sand is Being Depleted, and It’s Taking Our Beaches With It

News, Sand Mining
Sep
24

While conservationists champion the reduction of the world’s resources, one important material right at our toes has gone largely unnoticed. Coastal sands are being heavily mined, diminishing the world’s beaches.

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The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About

Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste.

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Land reclamation project starts in Monaco

Work has begun on the maritime infrastructure that will constitute the first phase of the six-hectare land reclamation project. The total value of the maritime infrastructure works is approximately €1 billion.

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Sand War in Bay of Lannion, Brittany, France

News, Sand Mining
Sep
12

Following yesterday’s rally against Lannion’s Bay ongoing shell sand extraction, activists from the environmental group “Peuple Des Dunes” and local officials, are to meet with the french Environment Minister Segolene Royal, to request the suspension of the controversial dredging concession granted to CAN Industry, whose current practices have been deemed questionable.

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Namibia: Environment Ministry to Punish Illegal Sand Miners

News, Sand Mining
Sep
10

The environment ministry says it will have no mercy with people who are caught mining sand, and those who are found guilty of the offence face 25 years imprisonment or a fine of N$500,000, or both.

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Looking to Holland to find more sand for Galveston Island, Texas

For years, sand has been returned to eroded beaches and dunes on Galveston Island by bulldozers and backhoes at a cost of millions of dollars. Now, a new idea: let Mother Nature do the work.

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Company makes new iron sand mining attempt

A plan to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki coast is back on the table.

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Sand scarcity hits Mumbai’s first artificial beach project

The plan for Mumbai’s first artificial beach off Marine Drive faces a challenge due to huge shortage of sand.

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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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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Sand scarcity hits Mumbai’s first artificial beach project

    August 22nd, 2016

    The plan for Mumbai’s first artificial beach off Marine Drive faces a challenge due to huge shortage of sand.

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    Cemex sand mine decision anticipated before years’ end; California

    August 19th, 2016

    For the Cemex sand mine in Marina, and for those calling for it to be shut down, the hourglass may almost be out of sand.

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    Why are beaches disappearing in Morocco?

    August 5th, 2016

    Desirable coastal areas are being stripped of their beachfronts by the construction need for sand…

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    Illegal sand mining is a multi-million Crore scam: Study

    August 4th, 2016

    An NGO released a 300-page document and video clippings on illegal sand mining in coastal Karnataka (Southwest India) and that’s a scam worth more than Rs 850 crore per annum. (1 Crore Rupees = 10 Million Rupees).

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    State-owned miner may enter rare earth minerals, beach sand mining; India

    August 3rd, 2016

    State-owned miner may foray into rare earth minerals and beach sand mining, among others, according to official sources.

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    Israel: Police arrest contractors in illegal sand mining conspiracy

    July 27th, 2016

    Though it may sound counterintuitive to steal and sell sand in a desert region like the Middle East, sand mining is big business. For years sand mining has been a major source of income for organized crime figures.

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    Laos: Chinese demand for sand and cement delivers wage for Laotian workers – but is destroying the Mekong

    July 27th, 2016

    China world’s top consumer of sand – devouring more than 60 per cent of the global output and using more in four years than the US did in the entire 20th century.

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    West Bengal: Green hopes run dry as rampant mining goes unchecked

    July 24th, 2016

    Rampant illegal sand mining and excavation of boulders from river beds are threatening the ecology of several rivers and all the three major river basins in West Bengal. Estimates suggest that there are at least 500 quarries in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts alone.

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    Castles made of sand

    July 22nd, 2016

    How big industries’ use of sand has compromised the health of California’s beaches and what recent action against the CEMEX plant means for the Monterey Bay.

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    How to Steal a Beach

    July 18th, 2016

    In Northern California’s Monterey Bay, a peculiar thing happens every time there’s a storm. The California Coastal Commission says that a mining operation has been illegally taking precious sand for years.

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