Do you know that Saudi Arabia imports sand from Australia and the UK? here’s why

Who convinced them that they need to be buying sand? Why would a goldmine start importing gold? It’s like convincing Canadians to buy American maple syrup, right?

95% of Saudi Arabia is a desert. Can’t they just get truck sand from anywhere they want? Just go out into your backyard if you need sand. Literally stick a shovel anywhere in your country and there will be sand…

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The thing is, Saudi Arabia’s own sand is not conducive to their own needs. Desert sand is much different than the sand you’d find at the beach. The sand in the desert has been eroded by thousands of years of wind and as a result, is very smooth and fine.

The sand you’d find at the beach or near water (maritime sand) is coarser as a result of water erosion. This is the type of sand Saudi Arabia wants.

Why does Saudi Arabia need this type of sand?

This type of coarse sand is used in the production of concrete.

The smooth sand found all over Saudi Arabia is useless when it comes to making concrete.

But Saudi Arabia has almost 1,700 miles of coastline. How do they need more maritime sand?

Due to years of growth in the country, particularly in the areas of construction, Saudi Arabia has a large shortage of useable maritime sand. As a result, they’ve turned to countries like Australia and Scotland to get their sand.

In fact, the world is considered to be in a sand shortage right now.

In 2014, sand accounted for 85% of the total weight of mined material.

Just last year, China used more sand than the United States has in the entire 20th century. China is so hungry for sand, that they’re dredging almost a million tons of it per day out Lake Poyang.

The world is consuming millions of tons of sand a day, but the process of making it takes thousands of years.

As the population grows, more infrastructure is needed to support it. Many nations will continue to see growth, the demand for sand will go up, and this sand shortage will only get worse.