Diamonds, zircon and other minerals have long been extracted in the sandy coastline near the Olifants river, which flows into the Atlantic about 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of Cape Town.
But plans to expand the mining have angered surfers, animal lovers and residents in this remote, sparsely populated region—and they are pushing back with lawsuits and petitions.
“We would argue that sand mining is having as big, if not a bigger impact on the delta and Cambodian reaches. It’s been shown to be the biggest driver of saline intrusion in the delta, and resulting in enhanced bank erosion more so than hydropower,”
– Chris Hackney (University of Newcastle), Julian Leyland and Steve Darby (University of Southampton)
The world uses 50 billion metric tons of sand annually.
Sand is a key ingredient in all concrete and glass production.
There are already ongoing reports of a mafia-style black market for sand.
The world is in crisis yet again. This time around, it’s a sand shortage…
Beach sand mining has been illegal since 1991 when the Coastal Regulation Zone Rules were first notified thirty years ago. Although illegal mining on beaches has continued nevertheless, the scale has been comparatively lesser than in rivers, where it has devasted entire swathes of land and water. Major Indian rivers like the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari and Kaveri face existential threat…
Tourism is essential to Morocco’s economy, and its beautiful beaches are a vital part of the attraction for visitors. In an ironic Catch-22 situation, however, meeting the demands of this industry is indirectly destroying the very coastline that tourists are coming to enjoy.
In partnership with the Global Sand Observatory Initiative, this event outlines the sand challenge, what actions are currently underway to address it, and what else needs to be done.
An insatiable global appetite for sand, one of the world’s most important but least appreciated commodities, is unlikely to let up anytime soon. The problem, however, is that this resource is slipping away.
If you’ve visited the beach recently, you might think sand is ubiquitous. But in construction uses, the perfect sand and gravel is not always an easy resource to come by.
An artificial beach strip in Manila Bay has environmentalists up in arms. Scientists warn its dolomite sand could harm people’s health and marine wildlife.