Technology to end the clutter of careers

Cameras, GPS, 3D scanner… the government defines a list of equipment and materials for monitoring activity

The government system which has just been unveiled covers all types of active quarries, including operations in the marine environment consisting of dredging.

New turn of the screw in the control of the exploitation of the quarries. The competent authorities want to set up a remote control system. The government system which has just been unveiled covers all types of active quarries, including operations in the marine environment consisting of dredging. To do this, officials have drawn up a list of technological and electronic equipment that will absolutely equip the quarries concerned.

This equipment will thus allow managers to quickly have the necessary control data remotely. Concretely, a decision of the Minister of Equipment and Water has just been published in the Official Bulletin. Quarry operators will have a grace period to equip themselves according to the new standards by government authorities. The new decision comes in accordance with Law No. 27.13 relating to careers promulgated by Dahir No. 1.15.66, in particular its Article 30 (5th paragraph) as well as Decree No. 2.17.369 in application of some of the provisions of the law. n° 27.13 mentioned above, in particular article 19.

In this sense, article 1 defines, in application of the provisions of the second paragraph of article 19 of decree n° 2.17.369 referred to above, the list of modern technical equipment allowing remote monitoring as well as electronic, photographic or on a paper data medium for each operator. For all types of quarries, the list provides for a computer equipped with a computer program for the calculation of the quantities extracted from the quarry on a continuous basis; a computer program for drawing up plans and designs; DGPS or equivalent technology; surveillance cameras to store data for at least two months, a 3D scanner or technically similar product. The new text establishes specific provisions for quarries in the marine environment. A computer system and a computer on board the ship allowing the recording of dredging data.

This system must in particular contain a dredging route; the status of dredging operations (on or off); the depth and thickness of the dredging operation; the filling level of the vessel’s container and the volumes dredged. That’s not all. The system for this category of operators provides for a computer in the quarry office equipped with a computer system allowing the storage of dredging data received from the ship at sea; a real-time transmission system that allows dredging data to be transferred from the ship to the quarry office simultaneously. There is also talk of setting up an Automatic Identification system and a sounder or equivalent technology. If the decision has already been published in the Official Bulletin, its effective entry into force is scheduled for twelve (12) months after this publication.


Before the adoption of the new law, the exploitation of quarries was governed by centenary and obsolete regulations: the Dahir of June 19, 1914, out of step with the new challenges and aspirations of the country. The new law 27-13 relating to the exploitation of quarries entered into force in July 2015. The text has, in fact, introduced several novelties to regulate a sector where anarchic exploitation is in full swing. In this direction, the law brought a new definition of the careers with a simplification of the procedures for their opening and exploitation. New conditions for obtaining operating approval have also been provided for. There was also talk of the introduction of the concept of “regional career management plans” which cover periods of 20 years. Concretely, the operation of opening and operating a quarry is conditioned by the granting of an administrative authorization. The administration must, for its part, give an answer within a period not exceeding 60 days, from the date of filing, and 30 days for public works quarries and sampling quarries for exploration.

Clandestine networks

Statistics on the quantities of sand from illegal mining are particularly worrying. In recent years, some figures estimate that more than half the volume of sand sold on the national market comes from clandestine channels. A reality that presents enormous risks on several levels. It must be said that the annual needs for sand on the national market are estimated at 30 million cubic meters. A huge amount that represents an important niche that ends up attracting mafia networks. To meet the growing demand due to the construction boom and to protect the coastal dunes from looting and uncontrolled exploitation, officials have encouraged the use of alternative solutions, including dredging and crushing sand. One of the main novelties of the 2015 law concerned the carrying out of environmental impact studies, as well as annual reports on the environmental situation of quarries.

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