Geological Survey and Mines Bureau

நீங்கள் இங்கே உள்ளீர்கள் : முதற் பக்கம் செய்திகள் புதிய செய்திகள் Mining work of Sri Lanka’s 3rd largest mine after WWII begins at Karasnagala

Mining work of Sri Lanka’s 3rd largest mine after WWII begins at Karasnagala

Karasnagala, the Sri Lanka’s third largest licensed mine after the Second World War launched its mining work on Thursday (19) at the Galigamuwa Divisional Secretariat in Kegalle District under the patronage of Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB), Mr Asela Iddawela and GSMB senior officials.

The Sarcon Development (Pvt) that obtained the mining license for Karasnagala mine entered into an agreement with board of Investment (BOI) in October 2012 to conduct a geological survey for graphite exploration.

However the company was granted the IML Category- A license in last August that gives exclusive right to explore for, mine, process and trade in all minerals mined within the area specified.

This project was assisted by Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) and the GSMB Technical Services Pvt Ltd that conducted a geological survey for graphite exploration.

So far around USD 3 million has been spent on the project and the total investment Ceylon Graphite Corp expect to bring down is USD 500 mn.

According to GSMB seven percent of royalty would be charged by the government for the extracted graphite once the survey to value addition is completed.

The Environmental impact Assessment (EIA) for the mine had been conducted by the GSMB Technical Services Pvt Ltd upon a request made by the company and the mining license has been obtained for a period of one year which is extendable up to 10 years.

According exploration conducted, 53,000 tons of graphite deposit has been identified and mining to be conduct up to 155 ft initially.

The Karasnagala mine in Urapola is considered as the third mine that obtained the mining license from the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) after the World War II. Pandeniya mine in Warakapola and Meegahatenna mine in Aluketiya are the country’s first two mines that received the mining license after the World War II.

It is also the largest graphite mine in Sri Lanka after the Kahatagaha mine and Bogala mine.

However, the Karasnagala mine had been used since the beginning of the World War II to extract graphite using human labor, considering the high demand for graphite based products. The mine then referred as “Gal Pathala”.

Later the Karasnagala mine has been abandoned due to breathing issues suffered by labors resulted by water leaking. Low technology and incompetent tools they had during the period believed to be another reason that caused to abandon the mine.

Speaking to the media, GSMB Chairman Asela Iddawela said that his office expect to boost the country's economy via unearthing valuable minerals using sustainable methods. He further said that under the said project more employment opportunities to be generated and it would be a huge strength to the rural development.

Expressing his views, Ceylon Graphite Corp Chairman Bharat Parashar said that Sri Lanka is prosperous with great natural resources. "Sri Lanka has great natural resources here. Graphite will be one of key natural resource in future. I think by 2020 we are going to have the demand for graphite out stripe the supply globally.  Sri Lanka has the purest graphite of the planet. We don't have all the facilities in the world yet. But we hope to implement a factory here according to international standards. Also we highly concern about the environment and we do all our work here eco-friendly.  De-carbonization is taking place and everybody is moving to alternative energy (renewable energy).  But it is a big issues that energy storage.  I'm confident that in future every house will have some sort of battery. So graphite is key part of any battery in today's technology. There are two parts of battery anode and cathode. Anode includes 60 percent of graphite.  Cathode also includes some graphite. So our first main focus will be towards energy storage".

According to Senior Director (Geology) Udaya De Silva, Karasnagala is a dry mine and graphite in this mine consist of high carbon percentage over 97%.

The mine includes four vertical graphite veins and the entire project has been allocated 27 grids which spread through 4.5 acres land.

The GSMB expects to extract graphite in large scale from Karasnagala mine similar to Bogala and Kahatagaha mines.


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