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If it says the gold of the future is sand, maybe some people do not believe it because how could such abundant sand would be worth as gold in the future?
Do not go far, for you who have built a house try to compare the price of sand about 25 years ago with the price of sand at this time how much spike in its price. Though this is only viewed from one side of the sand guance is not to mention the benefits of sand for other industries.
Before discussing how vital the function of sand in the future it helps us discuss the case of sand that makes the Singapore government always wary.
Learn from the Singapore case
Singapore's growing population of just 3 million in the 1990s to 5.6 million by 2017 is of course making the Singapore government a headache. In meeting the needs of space for its inhabitants, it turns out that vertical development alone is not sufficient, in addition there is of course a maximum limit as well.
This rapid population growth makes Singapore have to build horizontally by increasing its development land through reclamation. The onslaught of the Singapore reclamation program is reflected in the rapidly growing landmass of this reclamation.
In 1960 the area of ??mainland Singapore reached only 581.5 square kilometers, but this area increased rapidly to 719.7 square kilometers in 2016 ago. This means that during this time the area of ??mainland Singapore increased by 24%. The question that arises now is where did this land come from? The answer is from importing sand for this reclamation purpose.
The reclamation process undertaken by Singapore is not cheap. As an illustration for reclamation 1 Km of land square required as much as 37.5 million cubic meters of sand. In 2016 and Singapore recorded imports of 35 million metric tons of sand.
Previously Singapore imported lots of sand from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, as well as Cambodia. By 2016 the largest contribution of sand suppliers to Singapore is Malaysia at 56.6%, Vietnam 22.4%, Cambodia 18.8% and Myanmar at 2.2%
Given the impact of environmental degradation of sand mining is so great that Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have limited sand exports to Singapore. Similarly Cambodia, which in 2107 banned its sand exports to Singapore. This prohibition of course raises a new problem of the increasingly smuggling of sand into Singapore.
Environmental damage due to sand mining is also happening in the other hemisphere that is in Lake Poyang which is the largest sand mining in the world. As an illustration every year the amount of sand lifted from this region reaches 236 million cubic meters.
So big is the scale of this mining, so in the period 1995-2013 just sand mining in this region has changed the landscape in this region forever.Sand will be more valuable
According to a United Nations report in 2014 alone worldwide the amount of sand and pebble mining reaches more than 40 billion tons annually. For comparison, coal mining amounted to only 7460.4 million tons, while oil mining only reached 4382.4 million tons.
Growth of sand mining is soaring rapidly and if calculated from the weight of this sand mining occupies the portion of 85% of the weight of all mining results conducted in the world.
Growth of sand mining is of course can not be separated from the world population growth rate. World population growth is expected to continue to increase, reaching an increase of 14% in the period 2016 until 2030. Most of this population increase will enter the urban areas.
Most of the sand mining is absorbed for the needs of the construction industry as half of the world's population currently live in urban areas and by 2030 it is expected that this number will increase to 60%.
In addition to building materials as raw materials, sand is also important as a source material for our daily needs because the sand contains silicon dioxide which is used to produce daily necessities such as cleaning products, toothpaste etc. in addition to its silica material used for the manufacture glass.
In other industries the sand is also used as one of the raw materials for the manufacture of microchips in computers and smartphones.
Impact of sand mining
The results of a UN report based on NASA satellite imagery, sand mining worldwide have had an impact on environmental degradation as it has altered the landscape in the mining area. This landscape change has subsequently affected climate change and groundwater reserves.
This landscape change also resulted in the destruction of flora and fauna in the mining area as well as the surrounding area. Sea sand mining also impacts coral bleaching and coral mortality and other underwater life.
NASA satellite images also show dozens of islands in Indonesia have disappeared due to uncontrolled sand mining.
Sand that seems abundant today in the future will be increasingly rare and difficult to obtain given the rate of mining far exceeds the formation of sand naturally. In addition, sand will be increasingly scarce with the limitation of sand mining.
The position of sand is almost the same as the air we breathe that seems abundant, but we will not be able to live without air.The problem is that many decision makers have not realized that the environmental damage caused by sand mining is so intensive that the policies they make are less able to anticipate the adverse impacts of sand mining on future generations.
References: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight