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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Surfing in / Sand Mining

Quick sand, dirty Money; South Africa

Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban. Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durban’s rivers, enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools. This sand would normally be deposited on beaches and help offset coastal erosion. At current mining rates, Durban’s beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year.

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Bottles Become Sand at Globally Recognized Ranch at Laguna Beach

According to General Manager Kurt Bjorkman, the resort is the first property in the continental United States to use a GL Sand Machine that turns beer and wine bottles into sand that can be used to replenish the sand in bunkers on the resort’s golf course or the sand at the nearby beach.

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Could we run out of sand? Because we are going through it fast

On parts of the shoreline in the Moroccan beach town of Tangier, something is amiss. Though the ocean is there — its waves lapping, crashing and roaring as they have since time immemorial — it is not a place for long days of lazing on soft sand. Because there isn’t any.

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Sand miners are stripping bare Moroccan beaches; By Ghalia Kadiri / Le Monde

Legal and illegal sand miners are competing in the race to provide sand for use in the construction industry. The traffic is such that entire beaches are disappearing.

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The global resource shortage you have never heard about

If someone were to ask you to name the most-extracted materials on Earth, you might answer with fossil fuels or biomass. However, by weight, the answer is actually sand and gravel.

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More exploration approved at Icy Cape, Alaska

News, Sand Mining
Nov
18

A long stretch of beach at Icy Cape near Yakutat holds the possibility of massive mineral deposit that could produce millions in mining revenue for the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust.

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Hong Kong’s Government Is Spending Billions Taking Land from the Sea

Through expensive, time intensive, and complicated land reclamation projects, Hong Kong is continually extending out and into the water, where there wasn’t land before.

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Line drawn on sand sales: EBay removes listings for sand purportedly from Hawaii beaches

EBay has removed numerous listings advertising the sale of sand purported to be from Hawaii beaches, including iconic Papakolea Beach — also known as Green Sands Beach — after the Tribune-Herald inquired about the sand sales.

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The world is running out of sand

After a trip to the beach, you’re likely to return with sand in your hair, between your toes, underneath your fingernails. It might be difficult to believe that the world is running out of the stuff, but it is.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Quick sand, dirty Money; South Africa

    December 6th, 2017

    Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban. Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durban’s rivers, enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools. This sand would normally be deposited on beaches and help offset coastal erosion. At current mining rates, Durban’s beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year.

    Read More

    Bottles Become Sand at Globally Recognized Ranch at Laguna Beach

    December 4th, 2017

    According to General Manager Kurt Bjorkman, the resort is the first property in the continental United States to use a GL Sand Machine that turns beer and wine bottles into sand that can be used to replenish the sand in bunkers on the resort’s golf course or the sand at the nearby beach.

    Read More

    Could we run out of sand? Because we are going through it fast

    November 28th, 2017

    On parts of the shoreline in the Moroccan beach town of Tangier, something is amiss. Though the ocean is there — its waves lapping, crashing and roaring as they have since time immemorial — it is not a place for long days of lazing on soft sand. Because there isn’t any.

    Read More

    Sand miners are stripping bare Moroccan beaches; By Ghalia Kadiri / Le Monde

    November 24th, 2017

    Legal and illegal sand miners are competing in the race to provide sand for use in the construction industry. The traffic is such that entire beaches are disappearing.

    Read More

    The global resource shortage you have never heard about

    November 20th, 2017

    If someone were to ask you to name the most-extracted materials on Earth, you might answer with fossil fuels or biomass. However, by weight, the answer is actually sand and gravel.

    Read More

    More exploration approved at Icy Cape, Alaska

    November 18th, 2017

    A long stretch of beach at Icy Cape near Yakutat holds the possibility of massive mineral deposit that could produce millions in mining revenue for the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust.

    Read More

    Hong Kong’s Government Is Spending Billions Taking Land from the Sea

    November 14th, 2017

    Through expensive, time intensive, and complicated land reclamation projects, Hong Kong is continually extending out and into the water, where there wasn’t land before.

    Read More

    Line drawn on sand sales: EBay removes listings for sand purportedly from Hawaii beaches

    November 6th, 2017

    EBay has removed numerous listings advertising the sale of sand purported to be from Hawaii beaches, including iconic Papakolea Beach — also known as Green Sands Beach — after the Tribune-Herald inquired about the sand sales.

    Read More

    The world is running out of sand

    November 3rd, 2017

    After a trip to the beach, you’re likely to return with sand in your hair, between your toes, underneath your fingernails. It might be difficult to believe that the world is running out of the stuff, but it is.

    Read More

    South Florida, Out of Beach, Wants to Buy Sand from the Bahamas

    November 2nd, 2017

    Miami-Dade County lost 170,000 cubic yards of sand during Hurricane Irma. It’s the latest blow to South Florida beaches in perennial decline. Nearly half the state’s coast—411 miles’ worth of beach—is considered “critically eroded.”

    Read More