As mundane as that sounds, there are a great many reasons why businesses should keep an eye on the Australian sand and stone exports. Why? Australia is one of the leading exporters of sand in the world. In fact, it makes up over 5% of its GDP. The top five exporters of sand are the United States, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Australia. This industry is very lucrative in its own right. Creating desperately needed jobs, thereby stimulating Australia’s economy. Since 1988, the Sand and Silica Trade has risen dramatically in all of Australia.
The Value of Australian Sand
In Victoria, Australia, there lies an ancient sandstone and sand beach that is ‘rich’ in minerals. The minerals in this sand are highly coveted in the booming housing industry of China. According to The Weekly Times, Victoria’s sand beach is very high in the minerals zircon, titanium, and rutile. These minerals are used in the manufacturing of housing, in countries all over the world. They can be ‘harvested’ and used to make such things as tiles, toilets, and paint.
Overseas and local investors alike, take advantage of this highly coveted sand. This Australian sand brought a much-needed boom to the local economy. Victoria Miners have sent well over 500,000 tons of mineral sand last year alone. Victoria’s government wants this trend to keep going, so they have offered AUD 220 million to revamp the railways there. These deposits are excavated by “dredging” or “dry mining”, as it is sometimes called. The viability of such mines depends solely upon overseas requirements for such mineral sands. The more exporting, the better the profit. In effect, this would help stimulate Australia’s overall economy.
Albany, Australia’s Sand Exportation
Albany, Australia specializes in “Silica Sand” mining and exportation. Major Japanese investors have a vested interest in this type of mine. Albany Silica Sand is highly coveted. It is used in the construction and production of solar panels, due to the density and shape of the sand itself. This sand is prized for its round shape, which is useful for the production of fine glassware type products. Albany Sand is also used in the making of LCD panels. Companies all over the world seek out this pure sand for their business.
Australian Exports to Saudi Arabia
As funny as this may sound, Australian sand companies are selling and exporting sand to Saudi Arabia. The question is, “Why would Saudi Arabia need Australia’s sand in the first place?” Construction is at an all-time high in Saudi Arabia. Because of the rise in the need for housing, Saudi Arabia must import huge amounts of “mineral sands” that are used in the production of a particular type of building. This unique sand is relied upon for its outstanding durability under extreme weather conditions. This sought after mineral has caused prices to skyrocket. For Australia, this means that the excavation of sand from quarries has more than doubled, which has led to a material demand for this type of skilled labor.
Demand for Sand
To date in Australia, there are 3,500 companies that export to Saudi Arabia, as well as China, Japan, and even India. 1,700 of these companies are exporting to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) alone. Australia’s sand is also being sent to Dubai and India for the manufacturing of a particular type of top-grade concrete. This type of concrete was used to make the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Tower, which stands at 2,717 feet tall. This towers over the second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower, by over 600 feet. Australian sand was used for that one as well. Austrade estimates that exports to the Middle East have more than tripled since 1991. From 1.4 billion to 4.7 billion. As the demand continues to rise and the numbers continue to grow, Australia’s sand industry is expected to continue its momentum into the future.
The sand industry in Australia has a sizable economic impact by providing jobs and economic output that will be around for many years to come.