Sidescan sonar
accoustic image of the seabed

Sydney Marine Sand Pty Limited (SMS) was founded in 2000 to explore the massive deposits of high quality sand in Commonwealth waters off the coast of New South Wales.

SMS is a privately owned and incorporated Australian company.

As Sydney grows, there is increasing demand for construction sand. Deposits of sand within a reasonable distance from the CBD are reaching the end of their lives, and there is strong community opposition to sandmining in new onshore areas.

Construction sand is currently trucked to city building sites from inland sand mining operations as much as 180 km from the CBD.

Fine grained silica sand found on the sea bed is an ideal construction sand as well as providing a proven solution to coastal erosion through beach nourishment.

SMS is confident that extracting sand from offshore deposits, and delivering it to city destinations, is a practical means of meeting a growing demand. It can be done both more economically, and with less environmental impact, than existing or proposed onshore operations.

SMS plans to explore ancient beach deposits that exist more than 5.5km off the NSW coast in water depths of between 50 and 80 metres. Research shows that these relict deposits are not part of present day beach systems.

The company is keen to provide an innovative solution to the problem of limited sand resources for the major metropolitan markets in southeastern Australia. SMS wants to promote marine aggregate (marine sand extracted from the seabed and delivered to market by boat) as a responsible and reliable alternative to Sydney's long-term construction material needs. Should SMS exploration identify the resource as anticipated, then the company intends to develop a new marine minerals industry.

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