Sand and gravel are the two most accessible natural resources that have been used since the earliest days of civilization mostly as a construction material. Comprising of silica, usually in the form of quartz, sand is a naturally occurring granular material. It is made up of finely divided rock and mineral particles.
Both sand and small gravel are essential for the manufacture of concrete and building of roads.
The World Map of sand and gravel producers shows a list of the countries that produce sand and gravel in large quantities. As the data in the map shows, the United States is the largest producer of sand and gravel; in 2010, the country produced 26,500 thousand metric tonnes of the materials. Italy ranks second with an annual production of over 1.4 million metric tonnes. The third place is occupied by Germany.
Other major countries producing sand and gravel include the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Spain, Poland, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Finland, Belgium, Egypt, India, Iran, Norway, Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Turkey, Canada, Gambia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, South Korea, and Hungary.
There have been serious environmental concerns regarding the use of sand. The many sand uses require a significant dredging industry, which is a cause for fish depletion, landslides, and flooding. Export of sand has been banned in countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia.
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Last updated On : December 20, 2012
|World Mineral Producer|