Wiseman Mnguni squats in front of his lion, scraping its teeth with a plastic spoon. His leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros face the promenade. It is early evening in Durban, a balmy port city on South Africas east coast, and the beachfront precinct, known as the Golden Mile, is packed. Teenagers on vacation take selfies outside the fast food stands as joggers thud by and surfers rinse off under outdoor beach showers. Lifeguards patrol the shore, blasting their whistles at errant swimmers. Hotel guests cross the road and sink their toes into the sand.
Mnguni, 33, keeps his head down amid the bustle, etching his lions snout into a snarl. For 12 years, he has sculpted animals and other elaborate sand structures on the beach, surviving on donations from passersby. His daily income ranges from US $4 to $8 on weekdays and reaches $15 on weekends, cash he splits with his assistant, a languid youth named Patrick Dlomo. He supplements these meager earnings by selling some of the cheapest advertising space in the city, smoothing large mounds into display boards and neatly lettering sentences with darker grains of sand. This July, he has adverts for a local auto body shop and a debt management firm, charging each company $20 for the month. When the wind blows, or if people damage the sculptures, he touches them up. Its no money, says Mnguni, who supports his father, wife, and young son with his craft. But its better than nothing. If we leave this, we have no job.
Mnguni and Dlomo are among a ragtag group of sand artists who operate on Durbans prized central beaches, subsisting at the fringes of a local tourism economy worth more than $400-million annually. At least three rival groups have stands along the six-kilometer brick walkway that winds the length of the coastal strip. Their sculptures repeat similar motifscastles, big game animals, armchairs, carsand are rendered with astonishing finesse. This is a gift, says Mnguni, who counts himself among the first sand artists in Durban. Not just anybody can do it. You need a good brain.
Several artists make their living as sand sculptors along Durbans famous Golden Mile. As illegal sand mining starves the beach of sand, the artists raw materials may soon be in short supply. Photo by Charlie Shoemaker
You also need sand, which appears abundant but is diminishing due to unrestrained illegal mining in Durbans rivers, the principal source of fresh sediment at the coast. Sand and gravel (collectively termed aggregates) are essential for the construction industry, used mainly for building roads and producing concrete. This has led to severe shortages worldwide. According to the United Nations, global aggregate use exceeds 40 billion tonnes per year, twice the volume of sediment carried by all the worlds rivers. As more and more sand gets cemented into the built environment, beaches like Durbans are being stripped bare by the sea.
Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban, according to a study by South Africas Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)repeating a pattern that is playing out around the world as cities spread. Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durbans 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, Durbans beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year.
This would have dire implications for the Golden Mile, one of South Africas busiest tourist destinations and an uncommonly integrated public space in a country still burdened by the legacy of apartheid. On this stretch of land reserved for whites less than 30 years ago, black skateboarders glide past sunburned bathers while Muslim mothers in burqas spread picnics on large blankets. Upstream, illegal mining threatens freshwater ecosystems and communities that depend on them. Yet sand remains cheap in monetary terms, not taking into account the far-reaching impacts of its overuse.
The CSIR estimates that Durbans sandy beaches are worth over $15-million per kilometer per year, including the tourism and recreational revenue they generate as well as ecosystem services like erosion control. Estuaries where illegal mining takes place add further value by preserving biodiversity, recycling nutrients, and attenuating floods. There is a trade off between miningwhich provides necessary construction material but irreversibly depletes sedimentand preserving these critical systems. The price of sand would increase tenfold if it included this full range of costs, the CSIR says.
Until such time as the price of sand rises, economic pressures sustain illegal digging, from the need for cheap building materials to high unemployment in rural areas, where miners risk injury for low pay and leave behind degraded, hazardous landscapes. There are direct links between these illegal operations and the construction industry, embedding the trade deep in mainstream development.
This trajectory leads to a future where rocks emerge as the beach dissipates, hardening the Golden Mile into a less accessible coast. Durban has already seen what this could look like. A violent surge in March 2007 wrought more than $76-million in damages along the beachfront, demolishing buildings and displacing some five million tonnes of sand.
Yet the resource seems infinite as the sculptors fill their buckets and children dash through the shallows. The sand, weathered from sedimentary rock, is yellow brown, with black swashes of titanium ore farther up the beach. It clings to the skin and gathers in folds of clothing, sifting into vehicles and houses and hotel rooms. You cant use it up. Theres too much, says Mnguni, dusting his hands. This is a pervasive belief: grains of sand typically represent abundance, not scarcity. He accepts a coin from a teenaged couple and poses for a photo while the ocean abrades the shore.
Thirty kilometers inland, on a wide bend in the Umgeni River, a mechanical excavator thrusts its claw into the water and hoists a dripping load of mud. A barefoot youth of 13 named Smiso sits at the controls for pocket money of $8 per day. He pivots the machine and dumps the mud to dry beside the channel, where three large trucks are waiting to fill up. Rutted dirt tracks crisscross the embankment, a barren sandy expanse once tangled with indigenous shrubs.
Illicit mines have multiplied down the length of the Umgeni, a major river system that curls 225 kilometers through gray-green hills and meets the sea just north of the Golden Mile. The catchment supports five large dams and its name has been adopted by the provincial water utility, Umgeni Water. It has also become synonymous with a coarse, gritty builders sand that sells in most local hardware stores. (Do you live near a river that got Umgeni Sand? I require truckloads, reads one recent online classifieds post.) Ecologically, the river is considered one of Ethekwinis most vulnerable, threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and the spread of invasive species. Operating in a vacuum of unemployment, which exceeds 40 percent in the province, illegal mining has amplified these stresses, impairing the Umgenis critical services while posing direct threats to the communities settled on its banks.
The excavator leaks a trail of hydraulic oil as Smiso maneuvers it back onto the riverbank. The ground shakes as he lumbers toward the trucks and begins loading them. Two barefoot menlike him residents of the nearby village, a clutch of thatched homes farther up the slopesclamber up to flatten the heaps with shovels, the mechanical arm of the excavator swinging centimeters above their heads. Dirt and diesel smoke fill the air. The chug of the engines is deafening. As soon as they finish, the trucks depart, hauling the riverbed away.
Sitting on a bucket in the noonday heat, a young woman with braids and gold-tipped teeth watches the men work, writing sums in a neat ledger. The mine belongs to her older brother, a man called Mbambo; she acts as his site manager, recording sales and collecting payment. Her book shows that 25 trucks purchased sand the previous day, representing a total yield of more than 75 tonnes. It wasnt very busy, she says. Often we sell more.
Officials say Mbambo runs a second, larger illegal mine several kilometers upstream. He has no overheads besides hiring excavators ($270 per day) and buying diesel, with negligible labor costs. Each truckload of sand sells for $20 to $30. His profits from each site comfortably exceed $3,000 per month. Though he has been warned several times to stop operating, Mbambo continues digging up rivers, knowing that he is unlikely to be punished. Like in many other developing countries, sand mining enforcement is lax in South Africa, with few consequences for breaking the law.
To comply with national mining legislation, legally operating sand miners must apply for permits from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), submit environmental management plans, and pay deposits for rehabilitation. Mines larger than 1.5 hectares must commission environmental impact assessments and prepare social and labor plans, including provisions for skills development, severance packages, and equity targets. Separately, miners are supposed to seek formal permission from environmental and land use authorities, although in practice these requirements are often flouted. Illegal miners act with impunity, says one official, requesting to remain anonymous.
Stewart Green, a former Department of Environmental Affairs employee who wrote a masters thesis on sand mining in 2012, argues that this is largely due to poor cooperation between different state agencies, with a particular lack of effort from DMR. There is also a shortage of compliance officers, meaning that illegal sand miners are seldom investigated or charged. The ease with which sand can be sold makes policing the trade even more difficult. Illicit mining of other valuable mineralsgold, diamonds, chromiumis worth over $500-million annually in South Africa, but these products require elaborate criminal networks to penetrate legal markets. Sand, by comparison, often travels directly from rivers to construction sites.
One of the drivers loading at Mbambos mine, a man named Jabulani, is delivering to a rural housing scheme 30 kilometers away. He drives for several hours, inching up potholed dirt tracks in low gear before merging with an arterial road. The truck is in bad repair and moves slowly, arriving late in the afternoon. Set on a steep hill, the site is crowded with teams of workers laying pipes and digging foundations; the new walls, erected to address chronic housing shortages, hold untold tonnes of sand.
Most contractors dont want to know where the stuff comes from. They just take the cheapest option, says Doug Burden from the Duzi-Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT). The group was formed by a group of paddlers to combat degradation along the route of Africas largest canoe marathon, which follows the Umgeni and one of its largest tributaries, the Msunduzi. Wed stand, beers in hand, on the deck at the clubhouse, bitching about the state of the river, Burden says. Then someone suggested getting involved.
Seeking to disrupt flows of ill-gotten aggregate, DUCT has developed proposals for sustainable mining schemes, approaching construction firms for support. We encouraged them to source sand extracted from the headwaters of dams, where sediment constantly accumulates, says Burden. That way, the illegal miners would have fewer people to sell to. It would hit them in the pocket. But we couldnt get the main players on board. At the end of the day, the sector is still driven by money and greed.
With little accountability in construction supply chains, illegally mined sand can vanish into all manner of legitimate projects. The Ethekwini municipality, tasked with preventing environmental damage due to sand mining, has in the past subcontracted illicit suppliers for repairs to its own offices. Its a huge irony, says one official. Were busy fighting these guys and then we see their trucks pulling up outside. Burden attributes a dramatic illegal mining surge in 2008 to the construction of Moses Mabhida Stadium, a 2010 FIFA World Cup venue that absorbed more than 245,000 tonnes of concrete.
That figure is small when compared to the amount of concrete produced during South Africas construction boom of the 2000s, when the sector expanded by an average 10 percent annuallymore than twice the GDP growth ratebefore the global financial crisis of 2008. At its peak in 2007, the industry consumed more than 90 million tonnes of gravel and sand: enough to fill a line of 10-meter trucks, squashed nose to tail, stretching six times around the equator.
Yet illicit miners have been targeting Durbans river valleys since long before the construction sector ignited. They move onward as they deplete sediment, leaving abandoned pits in their wake. These pits have no fences and can plunge deeper than four meters into the riverbanks. In the summer rainy season, from October to March, they fill with river water, forming murky pools. It was in one such pool on the Umgeni that Sibangani Zondi, 14, went swimming on January 25, 1996, during the first week of the school year. He jumped in with his friends after class and sunk quickly, drowning less than 200 meters from the school gate.
The mine bosses showed no remorse, says Sibanganis mother, Joyce, standing beside his grave at her home in Esikhelekehleni, an impoverished rural settlement high above the Umgeni River. Sibangani was her eldest child; he would have turned 35 this year. They refused to contribute to his funeral. They said that children must stay away from the mines, that they cant do anything to stop them.
Court documents from an illegal sand mining case in 2013 show that Durban police had received reports of approximately 11 children drowning in unsecured pits by 2010. These deaths have had little effect on the trade. To this day, trucks eke uphill not far from Sibanganis grave, shredding a narrow access road not built for heavy freight. Mud dribbles onto the tarmac, smearing the ascending lane dull brown. The trucks return empty, racing downhill to the Sikelekehleni, a smaller tributary of the Umgeni that has been illegally mined for more than 15 years. Boulders rise from beds of invasive reeds, with empty furrows collecting stagnant water, in the five-kilometer scar running up its banks.
One evening, as dusk falls, an excavator scrapes a final load from the channel and cuts its engine. The stream has been replaced by a pool of oily quicksand. Rocks tossed from the embankment provoke no ripples in the dense sludge. An old man guarding the site says cattle often fall in and get trapped. People dont like this mine. It creates too many problems. So they come here at night and damage the machines, he says. I feel the samebut I need money, so I took the job.
Similar pressures have driven hundreds of villagers to join the sand trade, though working conditions are often dangerous. During apartheid, the South African government created homelands for black ethnic groups, reserving 87 percent of the land for ownership by whites. The effects of this dispossession are still widely visible, with high levels of poverty in tribal areas. Today, a third of the Ethekwini municipality is governed by traditional Zulu authorities, a system that has produced several loopholes. For example, miners have requested, and in some cases paid for, permission to dig on tribal land, even though traditional authorities do not have the power to override national mining and environmental laws.
This leaves miners vulnerable to accidents, injuries, and sudden dismissalall without the regulatory safeguards of a formal industry. In July 2001, Jabulani Miya was shoveling sand onto a portable conveyor belt when his jacket got trapped in the machine, mangling his right arm. Doctors later amputated the limb above the elbow. Miyas boss refused to employ him or pay any compensation when he got out of hospital five months later. He said I was useless, says Miya, who had been digging on the Sikelekehleni River for almost 10 years.
His home, a single-room mud structure, looks down the valley toward the site of his injury. Dust clouds rise as the trucks come and go. Miya, 46, has been unable to find work since losing his arm and survives on a state disability grant of around $115 per month. His mother lived with him until passing away this May; her unmarked grave lies a few meters from the house. I can do my own laundry and cook pap [maize porridge], Miya says, but I cant chop food. I cant do what most people can.
His right shoulder is withered from disuse, giving a slight tilt to his broad frame. The damaged arm hangs at his side, wrapped in a fabric dressing. An older cousin named Nicholas helps him now, sleeping beside him at night on a thin mat. He was very strong; he loved sports and physical work, Nicholas says. He hates being like this. Sometimes he just cries. When he starts talking about what happened, he cant finish what hes saying.
Spurred on by the relentless expansion of cities, our hunger for sand has harmed people and ecosystems around the world. (Violent sand mafias in India, for example, have murdered police officers, activists, and a reporter to maintain control of an industry worth billions annually.) With sand and gravel accounting for up to 85 percent by weight of all material mined on Earth, humans now consume more aggregate than any other resource besides water and air. Grains of desert sand are too fine and rounded to adhere to cement, leaving rivers and beaches as the main source for producing concrete.
Behind these direct human costs of sand mining, more subtle losses are taking place. Rivers turned cloudy with sediment no longer support the same biological communities, and invasive plants establish on denuded banks. Floods rip through valleys more fiercely, scraping away precious topsoil. The value of a river is most evident when it is gone.
On South Africas east coast, the Umgeni drains into the ocean after cutting through crowded townships and an industrial zone at the edge of the city. It passes at least four active mines, and countless others that have been abandoned, between its confluence with the Sikelekehleni River and the coast. Anglers congregate at the river mouth after dark, casting lines by flashlight into waters starved of sediment. Four kilometers down the beach, huddled along the promenade, the artists tend to their sculptures as the mist creeps in.
Wiseman Mngunis wife, Mpume, sits next to him as he tamps down loose sections and carves fresh patterns in the sand. She accompanies him to the beach some days to carry buckets and collect tips, traveling an hour by taxi in each direction. The wind tugs at her scarf as she watches the beggars outside the restaurants and the brightly lit hotels. Her husband barely looks up, pressing his palms against the damp sediment. Tomorrow his sculptures must be immaculate, ready for the returning crowds.
Kimon de Greef is a freelance journalist from South Africa, currently based in New York City, New York. He has written for the New York Times, National Geographic, and The Guardian, and is the author of a book on abalone poaching.
Charlie Shoemaker is an award-winning documentary photographer covering Africa. Charlies work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Le Mondes M magazine, Der Spiegel, and many more. When not working on stories, Charlie can be found exploring life underwater in the ocean around Cape Town, South Africa. Charlie was named one of Magnum Photos 30 under 30 in 2014.
Cite this Article: Kimon de Greef Charlie Shoemaker Quick Sand, Dirty Money, Hakai Magazine, Dec 5, 2017, accessed July 7th, 2021, https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/quick-sand-dirty-money/.
Even more voracious than the consumption of finite reserves of fossil fuel, the mining of sand and gravel represents a looming tragedy of enormous proportions, according to a group of prominent scientists.
In an article in the journal Science, researchers including Jianguo Liu, who holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at Michigan State University in the US, warn that sand mining is an emerging issue with major sociopolitical, economic, and environmental implications.
Used extensively in building, glass-making, road construction and electronics, legally and otherwise, sand and gravel are now the most extracted resources in the world, outstripping even oil and biomass.
In the past 110 years, the amount of sand used in construction has increased 23-fold. Sand accounts for 79% of the primary material inputs for buildings and transport infrastructure, with demand in 2010 alone topping out at 21 gigatonnes.
Mining ventures many under arrangements that are not predicated on environmental assessments, pollution control or rehabilitation obligations are being blamed for widespread coastal erosion, degradation of river systems and habitat destruction. In some cases, pits left over after mining and filled with standing water are thought to be exacerbating public health emergencies by providing additional breeding areas for mosquitoes.
As a result, it is a driver of biodiversity loss that threatens species on the verge of extinction such as the Ganges river dolphin as well as newly discovered species, such as the So Paulo marsh antwren, found in isolated marshes of southeast Brazil that have been heavily degraded by sand mining, they write.
The damage caused by uncontrolled demand, the authors add, is significantly exacerbated by the fact that in most parts of the world sand is considered a common resource easy to reach and prohibitively expensive to regulate.
As a result, mining is often unfettered, the miners themselves in some places underpaid and exploited, and effective control of the resource determined by influence and power legitimate or otherwise.
The negative social and political impact, the authors note, tends to be felt among poorer communities near, or downstream from, sand mining operations. This, they write, has important implications for environmental justice.
The degradation brought about or reinforced through sand extraction places heavy burdens on local populations, especially on farmers, fishers, and thosetypically womenfetching water for households. People from these populations may become environmental refugees, as has already happened in Sri Lanka and the Mekong Delta, they add.
With increased attention to the complex linkages of sand scarcity, our global community can begin to understand how to use sand more sustainably and avert a tragedy of the sand commons, the authors write.
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River Sand isnt just our name, it is the foundation of our company! We are the actual producer that has supplied river sand for almost three decades. We have multiple locations to provide you the best quality and most affordable river sand in North Georgia and Greater Atlanta. River sand is scaled and sold by the ton, and you can pick it up (with a dump truck or trailer) or we can deliver any amount.
The quick answer: Our river sand is a screened (no rocks or large debris), washed (removes unwanted dust particles), durable (made up of hard pieces that last), well-graded (we combine different size particles that makes it perform a certain way), sub-angular shaped (important for stability and strength), sand. We test it in a lab, a lot, to make sure the premium quality remains consistent.
The answer for someone who needs all the details: Our river sand is natural sand, meaning that is was formed by nature as a result of weathering rock over time. Much of the parent rock, or original big rock, in our geographic location is composed of quartz. Therefore, the sand made from those rocks are composed of natural quartz grains, which is one of the hardest and most durable materials. The major constituent of quartz is silica (silicon dioxide), so our river sand is also considered a silica sand. Our sand grains are actually sub-angular in shape, unlike many of the other highly-weathered sources that typically are rounded. The various color hues from white, tan, red, and brown sands are a result of iron oxides on the silica particle that is like a coat of paint on each particle.
Your project may be one of the ones on the list above but our sand has even been used in zoos and movies, so it truly is a general-purpose construction sand. The properties of our river sand determine if it is the right fit for your project. River sand will not compact, unlike some of our manufactured sand products. It does not contain rocks and large debris for safety (i.e. sport fields) and functional purposes (i.e. concrete). River sand is economically priced compared to other types of sand, with an average cost savings of 25% and range from 10-50% less that can translate into $100 or more savings per load. It also lasts a long time because of its hardness and its inert chemical properties, unlike limestone and/or granite sand.
*No guarantee or warranty of gradation is included with any purchase of material unless specified. This report is provided as a typical analysis for the specified product. Gradations are subject to change.
Get a free estimate on how much product you will need for your project by simply filling out the information below. You will also receive an email with your quote for your records. If you do not know the specific measurements below or have any questions, simple click the QUESTIONS button below.
Are you about starting a sand mining business? If YES, here is a complete sample sand mining business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE. Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a sand mining business. We also took it further byanalyzing and drafting a sample sand mining business marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for sand mining businesses. So lets proceed to the business planning section.
As an aspiring entrepreneur with interest in the construction cum building industry who is looking towards starting a business, one of your best options of entering the industry is to start a sand mining business. This business does pretty well in the united states of America despite the hurdles that you would have to scale through when carrying out your duties.
Part of what you would need to launch this type of business in the United States of America is your mining license, your excavating, stone crushing and selection machines, trucks cum tippers and employees.
In as much as people can start this business on a local level and on a small scale, it will be a wise decision to write a good business plan especially if you choose to start the business on a large scale and as a standard business that can employ more than a handful of people. Below is a sample sand mining company business plan that will help you successfully launch your own business.
Players in the sand and gravel mining industry are basically involved in mining and quarrying sand and gravel, along with clay, and ceramic and refractory minerals. Industry activity may include the beneficiation of these minerals by washing, screening and otherwise preparing the mined sand, gravel and clay.
The Sand and Gravel Mining industry predominantly mines and undertakes basic processing of sand and gravel used for construction aggregates and industrial applications such as road building, landscaping, snow and ice control and petroleum extraction. The industry also undertakes the extraction and primary processing of clay and refractory products for use in downstream manufacturing applications.
Domestic sand and gravel production is expected to rise over the five years to 2017, mirroring industry revenue growth. A sharp rise in hydraulic fracturing activity, to drill for oil and gas also significantly increased demand for industrial sand since it is used to prop open slits in the rock, contributing to the industrys expansion.
The Sand and Gravel Mining industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the United States and the industry generates over $16 billion annually from more than 2,211 sand and gravel mining companies scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 31,042 people. Experts project the industry to grow at a 6.7 percent annual rate. CRH PLC, and Heidelberg Cement are the market leaders in this industry.
A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the sand and gravel mining industry has a high capital intensity as substantial amount of industry capital is tied up in earthmoving and dredging equipment, along with cartage transport fleets. High capital intensity arises from the nature of the mining process, which requires considerable investment in large-scale equipment such as electric shovels and conveyors.
The industry also has a high working capital requirement because operators require sufficient capital to survive during periods of low prices, when revenue may temporarily be insufficient to cover costs. The ratio of labor costs (employee compensation) to depreciation charges is indicative of an industrys relative labor-capital intensity, as this shows the amount of revenue absorbed by labor inputs and capital inputs into production.
Any aspiring entrepreneur that is considering starting a sand and gravel mining business whether on a small scale or in a large scale should ensure that he or she, obtains all the necessary permits from the local government, state government and federal government. He or she should conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies so as to get it right.
Over and above, sand and gravel mining business is a profitable business venture and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can choose to start on a small scale on a large scale with robust distribution networks all across major construction sites and cement factories in the United States of America.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is a licensed sand and gravel mining company that will be based in Northern Virginia Virginia. Although we intend starting out on a small scale as a cottage company, but that will not in any way stop us from maximizing our potential in the sand and gravel mining industry.
Our business goal as a sand and gravel mining company is to become the number one choice of construction companies in Virginia and other cities in the United States where we intend supplying construction sand and gravel, industrial sand and gravel, common clay and other products.
As a business, we are willing to go the extra mile to invest in owning our own world class and environmental friendly stone quarry and also to hire efficient and dedicated employees. We have been able to secure permits and licenses from all relevant departments both at local government level and state level in Northern Virginia Virginia.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is set to redefine how standard sand and gravel mining business should be run, not just in Northern Virginia, but also in the whole of the United States of America. This is why we have put plans in place for continuous training of all our staff at regular intervals.
No doubt the demand for construction sand and gravel, industrial sand and gravel, common clay and other products is not going to plummet anytime soon which is why we have put plans in place to continue to explore all available market around construction sites where we intend supplying our products. In the nearest future, we will ensure that we create a wide range of distribution channels all across the United States of America.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company will at all-time demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our customers needs precisely and completely.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is a family business that will be owned by Jeff Nelson and his immediate family members. This Arlington, Virginia native originally attended college to become a Civil Engineer. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has over 10 years hands on experience in the construction cum building industry prior to starting Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the sand and gravel mining industry. We want to compete favorably with the leaders in the industry which is why we have put in place a competent team that will ensure that our products are of highest standard.
We will work hard to ensure that Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is not just accepted in Northern Virginia, but also in other states all across the United States of America where we intend supplying our products. Our products are listed below;
Ordinarily, we would have succeeded in running a sand and gravel mining business with few employees, but as part of our plan to build a top mining company in Northern Virginia, we have perfected plans to get it right from the onset which is why we are going the extra mile to ensure that we have competent employees to occupy all the available positions in our company.
Because of our drive for excellence, we were able to engage some of the finest business consultants in Northern Virginia to look through our business concept and together we were able to critically examine the prospect of the business and to assess ourselves to be sure we have what it takes to run a standard sand and gravel mining business that can compete favorably in the industry in the United States of America.
Our strength lies in the fact that we have state of the art mining equipment and trucks that have positioned us to meet the demand of our clients even if the demand tripled over night or if we have a massive order to meet and emergency need.
Another factor that counts to our advantage is the background of our Chief Executive Office; he has a robust experience in the industry and also a pretty good academic qualification to match the experience which has placed him amongst the top flight players in the sand and gravel mining industry. We are not ignoring the fact that our team of highly qualified and dedicated workers will also serve as strength for our organization.
We do not take for granted the facts that we have weaknesses. In fact, the reality is that we are setting up a sand and gravel mining company in a town with other sand and gravel mining businesses and it might pose a challenge for us in breaking into the already saturated market in Northern Virginia. In essence our chosen location might be our weakness. But never the less, we have plans to launch out with a big bang.
The opportunities available to us are unlimited. There are loads of construction sites in and around Northern Virginia and all what we are going to do to push our products to them is already perfected.
The threat that is likely going to confront us is the fact that we are competing with already established sand and gravel mining companies in Northern Virginia and also there are other entrepreneurs who are likely going to launch similar businesses within the location of our business, and they will compete with us for the available market. Another threat that we are likely going to face is unfavorable government policies and economic downturn.
It is a common trend in the sand and gravel mining line of business to find sand and gravel companies positioning their business in locations and communities where they can easily have access to gravel and sand mines and of course cheap labor.
If you make the mistake of positioning this type of business in a location where you would have to travel a distance before you can access sand and gravel mines in commercial quantities, then you would have to struggle to make profits and maintain your overhead and logistics.
Another trend in this line of business is that most registered and well organized sand and gravel mining companies look beyond the market within their locations or state; they ensure that they strike business deals with leading construction companies in the United States of America. The truth is that if you are able to become a vendor to one or more construction giants in the United States of America, you will always continue to smile to the bank.
When it comes to supplying products from sand and gravel mines, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In view of that, we have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us.
The fact that anybody with interest in the sand and gravel mining business can decide to obtain the required licenses and permits to start the business means that the business is open to all and sundry hence it is expected that there will be high level competition in the industry. This is so because the technology involved in sand and gravel mining line of business is not complicated.
As a standard mining company, we know that gaining a competitive edge requires a detailed analysis of the demographics of the surrounding area and the nature of existing competitors. And even if you are successful at first, new competitors could enter your market at any time to steal your regular customers. Hence we will not hesitate to adopt successful and workable strategies from our competitors.
Another competitive advantage that we have is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and understand how to grow a business from the scratch to becoming a national phenomenon. Our large and robust distribution network and of course our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry, meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives. We will also give good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the construction cum building industry both in Northern Virginia and throughout key cities in the United States of America. We are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to sell our products to a wide range of customers.
One thing is certain when it comes to sand and gravel mining business, if your business is strategically positioned and you have good relationship with players in the construction industry, you will always attract customers cum sales and that will sure translate to increase in revenue generation for the business.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in Northern Virginia and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from our first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base.
We have been able to critically examine the sand and gravel mining line of business, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to startups in Northern Virginia Virginia.
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there wont be any major economic meltdown and there wont be any major competitor offering same product and customer care services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
Before choosing a location to start Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company, we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to penetrate the available market in Northern Virginia. We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the number of customers we want to attract per time and also to compete with other stone quarry companies.
We hired experts who have good understanding of the sand and gravel mining line of business to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market for our products.
In other to continue to be in business and grow, we must continue to sell our products to the available market which is why we will go all out to empower or sales and marketing team to deliver our corporate sales goals. In summary, Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to sell our chalks;
Regardless of the fact that our sand and gravel mining company is a standard one that can favorably compete with other leading sand and gravel mining companies in Northern Virginia, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for all our products and brand. We are going to explore all available means to promote Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company has a long term plan of exporting our product all across the United States of America. This is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Northern Virginia Virginia before venturing out to other cities all across the United States of America.
As a matter of fact, our publicity and advertising strategy is not solely for selling our products but to also effectively communicate our brand. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company;
At Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company we will keep the prices of our products below the average market rate for all of our customers by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance from construction companies. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our customers at regular intervals.
We are aware that there are some one off supply contracts especially from government contractors or construction giants which are always lucrative, we will ensure that we abide by the pricing model that is expected from contractors or organizations that bid for such contracts.
The payment policy adopted by Joseph Ileaboya & Sons Stone Quarry Company is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our product without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to pay for our products and services.
From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget on how to achieve our aim of establishing a standard and highly competitive sand and gravel mining company in Northern Virginia Virginia and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;
No matter how fantastic your business idea might be, if you dont have the required money to finance the business, the business might not become a reality. No doubt raising startup capital for a business might not come cheap, but it is a task that an entrepreneur must go through.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is a family business that is owned and financed by Mr. Jeff Nelson and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.
N.B: We have been able to generate about $150, 000 (Personal savings $100, 000 and soft loan from family members $50, 000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it wont be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to supply our products a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Jeff Nelson Sand & Gravel Mining Company will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our companys corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
When people picture sand spread across idyllic beaches and endless deserts, they understandably think of it as an infinite resource. But as we discuss in ajust-published perspectivein the journal Science, over-exploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, causing shortages and promoting violent conflict.
Skyrocketing demand, combined with unfettered mining to meet it, is creating the perfect recipe for shortages. Plentiful evidence strongly suggests that sand is becoming increasingly scarce in many regions. For example, in Vietnam domestic demand for sand exceeds the countrys total reserves. If this mismatch continues, the country may run out of construction sand by 2020, according torecent statements from the countrys Ministry of Construction.
This problem is rarely mentioned in scientific discussions and has not been systemically studied. Media attention drew us to this issue. While scientists are making a great effort to quantify how infrastructure systems such as roads and buildings affect the habitats that surround them, the impacts of extracting construction minerals such as sand and gravel to build those structures have been overlooked. Two years ago we created a working group designed to provide an integrated perspective on global sand use.
In our view, it is essential to understand what happens at the places where sand is mined, where it is used and many impacted points in between in order to craft workable policies. We are analyzing those questions through asystems integration approachthat allows us to better understand socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances and time. Based on what we have already learned, we believe it is time to develop international conventions to regulate sand mining, use and trade.
Sand and gravel are now the most-extracted materials in the world, exceeding fossil fuels and biomass (measured by weight). Sand is a key ingredient forconcrete, roads,glassandelectronics. Massive amounts of sand are mined forland reclamation projects,shale gas extractionandbeach renourishment programs. Recent floods in Houston, India, Nepal and Bangladesh will add to growing global demand for sand.
In 2010, nations mined about 11 billion tonnes of sandjust for construction. Extraction rates were highest in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Europe and North America. In the United States alone, production and use of construction sand and gravel was valued at $8.9 billion in 2016, and production hasincreased by 24 percentin the past five years.
Moreover, we have found that these numbers grossly underestimate global sand extraction and use. According to government agencies, uneven record-keeping in many countriesmay hide real extraction rates. Official statistics widely underreport sand use and typically do not include nonconstruction purposes such as hydraulic fracturing and beach nourishment.
Sand traditionally has been a local product. However, regional shortages and sand mining bans in some countries are turning it into a globalized commodity. Its international trade value has skyrocketed, increasingalmost sixfold in the last 25 years.
Profits from sand mining frequently spur profiteering. In response to rampant violence stemming from competition for sand, the government of Hong Kong established a state monopoly over sand mining and trade in the early 1900sthat lasted until 1981.
Today organized crime groups in India, Italy and elsewhere conductillegal trade in soil and sand. Singapores high-volume sand imports have drawn it into disputes withIndonesia,MalaysiaandCambodia.
The negative consequences of overexploiting sand are felt in poorer regions where sand is mined. Extensive sand extraction physically alters rivers and coastal ecosystems, increases suspended sediments and causes erosion.
Research shows that sand mining operations are affecting numerous animal species, includingfish,dolphins,crustaceansandcrocodiles. For example, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) a critically endangered crocodile found in Asian river systems is increasingly threatened by sand mining, which destroys or erodes sand banks where the animals bask.
Sand mining also has serious impacts on peoples livelihoods. Beaches and wetlands buffer coastal communities against surging seas. Increased erosion resulting from extensive mining makes these communities more vulnerable to floods and storm surges.
A recent report by the Water Integrity Network found that sand miningexacerbated the impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka. In the Mekong Delta, sand mining is reducing sediment supplies as drastically as dam construction,threatening the sustainability of the delta. It also is probably enhancing saltwater intrusion during the dry season, which threatens local communities water and food security.
Potential health impacts from sand mining are poorly characterized but deserve further study. Extraction activities create new standing pools of water that can becomebreeding sites for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The pools may also play an important role in the spread of emerging diseases such asBuruli ulcerin West Africa, a bacterial skin infection.
Media coverage of this issue is growing, thanks to work by organizations such as theUnited Nations Environment Programme, but the scale of the problem is not widely appreciated. Despite huge demand, sand sustainability is rarely addressed in scientific research and policy forums.
The complexity of this problem is doubtlessly a factor. Sand is a common-pool resource open to all, easy to get and hard to regulate. As a result, we know little about the true global costs of sand mining and consumption.
Demand will increase further as urban areas continue to expand and sea levels rise. Major international agreements such as the2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentand theConvention on Biological Diversitypromote responsible allocation of natural resources, but there are no international conventions to regulate sand extraction, use and trade.
As long as national regulations are lightly enforced, harmful effects will continue to occur. We believe that the international community needs to develop a global strategy for sand governance, along with global and regional sand budgets. It is time to treat sand like a resource, on a par with clean air, biodiversity and other natural endowments that nations seek to manage for the future.
The worlds largest and perhaps most destructive mining industry is rarely discussed. Approximately 85 percent of all material mined from the earth is a simple and widely available resource: sand. Because it is so cheap and readily available, it is mined by everyone from guy with a shovel, to multi-million dollar machine operations. The majority of sand is used to make concrete, but the displacement of sand leads to the catastrophic destruction of coastal, sea bed and river ecosystems and topography.
The United Nations Environment Program estimates that 40 billion tons of sand are mined every year, but since the market is corrupt, hidden and decentralized there have been no comprehensive studies to date. In order to get a rough number, the United Nations used global cement production and sales figures to approximate how much sand is collected. For example, every ton of cement requires six to seven tons of sand and gravel in order to make concrete.
Sand mining, especially when done without regulation or oversight, can damage rivers, cause beach erosion and destroy coastal ecosystems. At least 24 Indonesian islands disappeared off the map just to build Singapore.
Since sand dredging occurs primarily for construction purposes, miners target river and coastal ecosystems where the sand is ideal. River sand is particularly perfect for concrete because it is coarse and does not contain salt that would otherwise corrode metal and other building materials. In addition to disturbing riverbed and river bank ecosystems, altering the flow and capacity of rivers can cause drought or disastrous flooding though rarely recognized as a contributing factor.
Dredging sea grass habitat can also cause sediment to drift for miles causing both coastal erosion and smothering ecosystems like coral reefs. Erosion, land subsidence and the introduction of heavy machinery and vehicles into delicate habitats also threatens the integrity of nearby infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
Development and urbanization are expanding rapidly in every corner of the world to accommodate an exponentially growing population and our insatiable rates of consumption and expansion. According to the United Nations, the number of people living in cities is more than four times what it was in the 1950s. Over 50 percent of the worlds population now lives in urban areas with nearly three billion additional people expected to migrate to cities in the next 30 years.
In addition to new buildings, sand is also used for land expansion projects. In China, it is a common practice to dump sand on top of coral reefs to speed the process of building land. Dubai is also famous for its man-made islands, which required millions of tons of sand.
Singapore has added over 50 square miles of land in the past four decades and more skyscrapers in the last 10 years than all of New York City a feat that required over 500 million tons of sand. The creation of Singapore was so rapid that Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam all banned the export of sand, but miners simply moved to Lake Poyang on the Yangtze River. The WWF calls this Lake the largest sand mine in the world, but it is tragically also Asias largest destination for migratory birds. Sand dredging activities have more than doubled the rivers capacity in certain areas, draining parts of the lake and reducing key fisheries.
The scale of the problem is enormous and the consequences of moving massive amounts of life-and land-sustaining material from one place to another is glaring but the world remains functionally oblivious, blinded by the desire for new buildings and up-and-coming neighborhoods.
River ecologists suggest that sand dredging in rivers should only be done up to a pre-determined quota that allows the river to annually replenish sediment. However, this sustainable number will never equal humanitys unsustainable need for development.
Britain now sources much of its sand further offshore in order to protect river and coastal ecosystems, however, much of this sand is only used for land reclamation projects where the salt content is not a concern.
Another untapped source is the sand that collects at the bottom of reservoirs. Dredging reservoirs could not only provide sand but also helps to expand storage capacity. Ecologists, however, argue that this sand should technically be put back into the rivers that feed into reservoirs.
Limited mining on floodplains, rather than riverbanks and riverbeds, is thought to be less destructive. However, floodplains also have fragile ecosystems. In Australia,floodplains are home to rare carnivorous plant species that are now at risk from mining activities.
One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to lawns is how to level a lawn. When considering the question, how to level my lawn, many people feel this is too difficult a task to take on themselves, however, it is easy to level a lawn and it doesnt have to be expensive either.
Sand is oftentimes used to level lawns, but putting sand on lawns can cause problems. You should never use pure sand to level a lawn. Most lawns contain a lot of clay, which already makes growing grass difficult. However, adding pure sand on top of the clay only creates further problems by turning the soil into a nearly hardened cement-like consistency, as drainage abilities are worsened.
You can easily make your own lawn patching soil by mixing sand and dry topsoil in equal parts of half-and-half, spreading the leveling mix into low-lying areas of the lawn. Some people also use compost, which is great for enriching the soil. Only add one-half inch (1.5 cm.) of soil mix to the low spots at a time, leaving any existing grass showing through.
After leveling, fertilize lightly and water the lawn thoroughly. You may still notice some low areas in the lawn but its oftentimes best to allow the grass to grow up through the soil for at least a month before repeating the process. After about four to six weeks, another half-inch (1.5 cm.) of the dry topsoil mix can be added to the remaining areas.
Keep in mind that deeper areas of the lawn, which are more than an inch (2.5 cm.) lower than the soil, require a slightly different approach. To fill uneven lawn low spots like these, first remove the grass with a shovel and fill in the depression with soil mix, laying the grass back in place. Water and fertilize thoroughly.