The price of sand for use in construction is likely to increase as the government is currently considering imposing a ban on the mining of sand from beaches in this country.
This was disclosed by Minister of Transport, Works, Urban Development and Local Government, Julian Francis at a news conference on Monday August 28.
Minister Francis noted that while some decisions in this regard were taken a few years ago, these were not fully implemented.
He acknowledged that while the importation of sand is very expensive, and will result in an increase in the cost of construction, “we cannot continue to mine the beaches of St. Vincent.”
“There is a renewed discussion on sand mining in St. Vincent. We took some decisions some years ago and those decisions were not carried out in full. The importation of sand is a significant increase in cost of sand-very expensive, but we cannot continue to mine the beaches in St. Vincent, particularly so Brighton and Diamond, those are the two areas,” Minister Francis said.
He said that the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) will be at the center of producing construction sand.
“In fact a lot of the sand that was used at Argyle for concrete construction was crushed sand, construction sand, washed from Rabacca,” he explained.
According to Minister Francis, further discussions on this issue were to be held at the Cabinet Meeting last Wednesday.
“It looks like we are going to open back up the importation of sand so you can expect that the private sector people who are going to do that will want to make a dollar off of it and the cost of sand will is going to go up. It will affect the construction industry, but the government will look closely as to how best to handle this,” the Minister of Works said.