The North Stradbroke Island sandmining industry started soon after World War 2 (1939-1945). It began on the east-facing Main Beach where wave action exposed seams of the black, mineral-bearing sand. The early miners were individuals who shovelled the sand by hand onto trucks, which then drove to Dunwich on the Island’s west coast. The trucks were loaded onto barges and taken to the mainland.
In the early 1950s Titanium and Zirconium Industries Pty Ltd began a small dredging operation on Main Beach, transporting the mineral sands across the Island to Dunwich by an aerial ropeway. Since then, dry mining has been replaced by wet mining operations behind the beaches. Mining on North Stradbroke Island is due to end in 2019.