Minerals and Dredging
We provide licences for the extraction of marine sand and gravel resources, used in construction projects around the country, as well for beach replenishment and coastal adaptation.
Marine Sand and Gravel
We provide licences for the extraction of marine sand and gravel resources from the seabed, which are an important source of quality aggregate for construction and civil engineering projects, particularly in the South East of England and South Wales. In London alone, marine aggregate is used in around half the concrete produced. Marine sand and gravel are also used in beach replenishment schemes, where they help provide coastal protection and enhance amenity value, and as infill for land reclamation projects.
The Crown Estate issues consents for, amongst other activities, non-exclusive sampling and commercial extraction, subject to the statutory regulatory consenting process.
As part of our management of marine sand and gravel extraction, we employ an Electronic Monitoring System to record dredging vessel activities associated with our mineral assets, helping to assess dredging intensity and ensure that all vessels remain within their allocated licensed area.
Other Marine Minerals
The Crown Estate has interests in evaporite minerals, such as salt, potash and polyhalite, occurring beneath the seabed and issues leases for extraction. These minerals are used in the production of fertilisers and the maintenance of roads as well as by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Capital and Maintenance Dredging
We licence capital and maintenance dredging projects which enable navigational channels to be created and maintained on the UK seabed, such as to enable ships to move safely in and out of coastal ports. This includes projects like Liverpool2 and London Gateway, where millions of cubic metres of marine sand and gravel have been dredged to create new deep-water port terminals. As part of this, we also provide consent for the disposal of dredged sediment at sea and the use of dredged material, within the 12 nautical mile limit.