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Further evidence of the importance of

marine aggregate supplies can also be found

in the latest

Aggregate Minerals survey


England andWales


, which is undertaken by

the British Geological Survey under contract

to the Department of Communities and

Local Government.

Aggregate Minerals (AM) surveys have

traditionally been undertaken at four-yearly

intervals since 1973 and are intended to

provide a detailed analysis of national and

sub-national sales and consumption of

primary aggregates, allowing trends over

time to be identified. The latest report,

published in November 2016 and reporting

data for 2014, provides further evidence

of the growing role and importance of

marine aggregate supplies in England and

Wales.Over 10% of all primary aggregates

consumed in England andWales now

come frommarine sources, and the sector is

responsible for supplying 25% of the sand

and gravel needs in England and 49% of the

equivalent needs inWales.


The Government’s commitment to

infrastructure as a means to promote growth

in the national economy represents a further

opportunity to make the link between the

essential resources that the wider mineral

products sector provides and the social,

economic and environmental values and

benefits that will be realised by the projects

that are being promoted.Marine resources

have already played a key role in the Crossrail

development and there is clear potential to

also support elements of the HS2 project.

However, rather than being considered in

their own ‘bubble’, it is essential that the

policies behind these infrastructure ambitions

fully recognise the role and contribution

that the mineral products sector will have in

enabling the successful delivery of sustainable

and cost-effective projects.

The recent publication of an independent

review into the strategic role of tidal lagoons

in the UK, undertaken by the Rt Hon Charles

Hendry, has reinforced the growing interest

in the opportunities for large-scale renewable

energy generation using tidal power. The

last major barrage built in the UK was at

Cardiff Bay, which used 2.5 million tonnes

of marine-dredged sand, 700,000 tonnes of

armour stone and 135,000m


of concrete.

The 1.2km-long barrage cost £200m to build,

but crucially provided the catalyst for over

£2 billion of further regeneration activity,

including housing, commerce, leisure and

industrial development.

Given the scale of some of the new projects

currently being considered, the ability of

the industry to deliver large volumes of

construction aggregate by sea would suggest

Above: Marine landings contribute 25% of

the sand and gravel needs in England and

49% of the equivalent needs inWales.

The MV

Sand Fulmar

delivering a 6000-tonne cargo to Murphy’s Wharf,

located on the Greenwich Peninsula in the heart of London.