Industrial Sands Working Group (ISWG)

About the Industrial Sands Working Group (ISWG)

Silica sand is defined, in the British Geological Survey (BGS) minerals planning factsheet, 2009, as sand which normally has a silica content of more than 95%, usually in the form of quartz sand grains. On account of its high purity and because of the size distribution, strength and shape of its component grains, such sand can be processed for use in a wide range of specialist applications as an industrial mineral, rather than simply being used as a construction material.

The Industrial Sands Working Group (ISWG) is a technical working group which collects data on the sales of industrial (silica) sands minerals, the reserves of industrial sands covered by valid planning permissions and the landbanks of reserves. The National Planning Policy Framework (link opens in new window), issued by the government in July 2018, requires (paragraph 208) mineral planning authorities to plan for a steady and adequate supply of industrial minerals and sets out a number of ways of achieving this. It includes co-operating with neighbouring and more distant authorities to co-ordinate the planning of industrial minerals to ensure adequate provision is made to support their likely use in industrial and manufacturing processes.

The membership of ISWG is drawn from the mineral planning authorities:

  • South Downs National Park Authority
  • West Sussex County Council
  • Hampshire County Council
  • Dorset County Council
  • Surrey County Council
  • Kent County Council
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Worcestershire County Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • East Cheshire Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Staffordshire County Council

Membership also includes representatives of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), the British Aggregates Association (BAA), the British Ceramics Association (BCA) and the British Geological Survey (BGS).

The meeting chairperson is elected at each meeting.

Contact: Roy Romans – Team Leader (Minerals and Waste)

Telephone: 0300 300 6039