Plans for underwater sand mine off Sydney

A company has applied for a licence to mine sand off Sydney's coast.

Sydney Marine Sand (SMS) has applied for a subsea exploration licence covering a 150km2 area stretching from Narrabean to Terrigal, off the NSW coast, according to the Herald Sun.

"We're exploring it to extract sand for construction purposes to see whether there is a viable resource," company director Darren Skene told the Manly Daily.

According to the company "the targeted resources are ancient beach deposits that exist in water depths of between 50 and 80 metres. Existing geological models suggest that these sands are relict beach/barrier deposits formed tens of thousands of years ago during a period of lower sea levels and are not linked to the modern day beach systems.

"The exploration strategy is to acquire robust, fundamental data to enable an investigation of the geology, morphology and stratigraphy of the inner shelf deposits within the MEL application area."

Its Broken Bay project would operate nearly three and half kilometres offshore.

The project has already run into opposition from the local Pittwater Council, which called on the government to knock back the application.

Seabed mining has seen significant opposition over the past year, with protests in the Northern Territory, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea over its extraction.

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