The British Geological Survey (BGS) is the UK’s premier provider of objective and authoritative geoscientific data, information and knowledge. One of the key objectives is to help society use its natural resources responsibly. Over the last 15 years, the BGS has published a series of Mineral Planning Factsheets that cover a wide range of economically important minerals that are extracted in the UK. They are regularly updated and provide an overview of the supply of a specific mineral. They are primarily intended to inform the land-use planning process but are of much wider interest.
The current Mineral Planning Factsheet for Silica Sand was produced in 2009 and is overdue for an update. This presentation gives a summary of silica sand resources in the UK and the main changes that have arisen affecting the silica sand sector over the last 10 years.
The silica sand sector has seen consolidation of production into fewer sites, increased pressure on resources in environmentally sensitive areas and the rise of localism which has lead to a greater scrutiny of planning applications, resulting in a slower approval rate. In addition, there is less data on mineral production due to concerns over competition and a reduction in funding by central Government. The current revision of the silica sand factsheet is ongoing and is awaiting the findings of a sector wide survey of resources and sales. The revised factsheet is due to be published towards the end of 2019.