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CDE Innovations: Busting the ‘Abundant Sand’ Myth

11 November 2019

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Sand as a resource is perhaps the most underestimated among other natural resources both in the context of the power it wields on our everyday lives. Sand has numerous applications – it’s used for glass and is the source of strategic minerals including silicon dioxide, which is found in wine, cleaning products, toothpaste, and many other daily products. Sand is also required for manufacturing microchips inside our computers and smartphones. However, the sector swallowing most of the sand is the construction industry.

It may seem, that sand is the most ‘taken for granted’ resource, much like the air we breathe in, as we reside in the certainty that it will never run out. And yet, as the UN confirms in a 2014 report, the seeming limitlessness of sand masks the fact that it is being mined at a rate at a pace much faster than its natural renewal rate.

Some statistics will help to drive home this very point:

  • The UN believes that sand and gravel, or aggregates account for up to 85% of all mining activity around the world, measured in weight
  • A 2014 report by the UN confirms that globally, more than 40 million tonnes of sand and gravel are extracted every year
  • Worldwide, the legal sand industry is worth $70bn, roughly equivalent to the GDP of Kenya
  • By 2030, the UN expects 60% of people to live in cities, the construction and development of which require astronomical amounts and sand and aggregates

The situation, unfortunately, is as bad as it sounds or reads.  Not only, is the rate of depletion greater than renewal, this has also led to criminal activities such as illegal sand mining and extraction, placing even more strain on the resources and immediate impact on ecological balance with disturbances in flora and fauna in many parts of the world.

As the world wakes up to the fact that yet another finite resource is slipping through our fingers, we, at CDE Asia, continue our fight to restore and reclaim sand and aggregates through our patented path-breaking wet processing technologies. With headquarters in Northern Ireland, CDE Asia has championed the cause of countering natural sand shortage with inventive technology. Combo, an inspired product from the CDE stable converts crushed rock fines into high-quality Manufactured Sand that are a perfect and superior substitute to natural riverine sand. Another of CDE products, namely, ReUrban recycles Construction & Demolition Waste into reusable and beneficiated sand, hence meaningfully contributing to the cause of Smart Cities.

As is apparent, CDE Asia is at the forefront of the fight against natural Sand Shortage. It believes that the time has come to bust the ‘limitless sand myth’ and move on to take actionable steps in meeting the sand crisis that lies before us.

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