Surface mineral resources


M.J. van der Meulen1, J.W. Broers2, A.L. Hakstege3, H.S. Pietersen2,4, M.W.I.M. van Heijst2 & T.P.F. Koopmans2

1TNO Built Environment and Geosciences Geological Survey of the Netherlands, PO Box 80015, 3508 TA Utrecht, Netherlands

2Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management, Road and Hydraulic Engineering Institute, PO Box 5044, 2600 GA Delft, Netherlands

3Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management, Civil Engineering Institute, PO Box 20000, 3502 LA Utrecht, Netherlands

4Delft Technical University, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, Netherlands




Dutch unconsolidated Quaternary and Tertiary deposits constitute major resources of sand, gravel and clay, exploited mainly for construction works and the building-materials industry. Limited surficial occurrences of Cretaceous chalk and Triassic limestone and dolomite are carbonate resources, used mainly for the production of cement. From 1999 to 2003, an average amount of 90 Mt of sand, 4.9 Mt of gravel, 3.9 Mt of clay and 1.6 Mt of carbonate rock was extracted annually. Between 10 and 14 Mt/a of the aggregates production was exported; imports of aggregates rose from 30 to 45 Mt/a. For reasons of sustainability, policy has been developed to stimulate the application of secondary building and construction materials, i.e. recyclable waste materials and industrial by-products, as alternatives for natural materials. Their total use rose from 7 Mt/a in the early 1980s to ~32 Mt/a in the early 2000s.


Keywords: Netherlands, aggregates, gravel, sand, clay, limestone, shells, secondary materials, mineral extraction, mineral planning




In: Wong TE, Batjes DAJ, De Jager J (eds): Geology of the Netherlands. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Amsterdam, Netherlands, in press