For nearly 50 years the Lapis Sand Mine in Marina has been operating without the required lease from the state.
That’s according to a May 16th letter from the State Lands Commission. It orders the mine’s owner CEMEX to submit a lease application for its beachfront operation in Marina or shut down its dredge pond. The pond is how CEMEX mines the sand.
The letter notes that the plant’s previous owners, Pacific Cement and Aggregates Inc., had a lease for its dragline method of sand removal. The company also paid the Commission royalties. However after that lease expired in 1969, no new lease was obtained for the new dredge pond method of sand removal and royalty payments ceased.
Citing research by Ed Thornton, a retired Naval Postgraduate School Professor, the letter goes on to say, “the dredge pond performs the same function as the prior dragline operation, removing a mineral resource from sovereign land subject to the Public Trust.”
Signed by Executive Officer Jennifer Lucchesi, the letters says a lease application my lead to an environmental review of the Lapis Sand Mine.
Via email CEMEX spokesman Walker Robinson shared this statement.
"CEMEX is currently reviewing the information provided by the State Lands Commission and is not able to comment on it at this time. The Lapis facility in Marina has been in consistent operation for more than 111 years. That the operation is a vested right and has all required entitlements to operate, has been repeatedly confirmed over the last 50 years by numerous Government entities."
In March of 2016, the California Coastal Commission issued CEMEX a notice of intent to cease and desist operations. The two have been in negotiations ever since. The commission’s next meeting on the Central Coast will be July 12th-14th. No location has been set.