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Pulmoddai mines, Lanka Mineral Sands celebrate 60th anniversary

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Amid increasing production, Sri Lanka’s pioneering mineral sands producer proudly marked its 60th anniversary on 1 March. The fully Government-owned firm celebrated the milestone by felicitating its committed workforce and praising their contribution to the economy.

“I thank the LMSL workforce including workers of Pulmoddai mine,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 1 March. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the 60th Anniversary celebrations of Government-owned Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd (LMSL), held at the Pulmoddai mines on 1 March. It was the Ceylon Mineral Sands Corporation formed in 1957 that later became the LMSL of today. Pulmoddai, LMSL’s leading mine sprang into action in the same year and with LMSL, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Apart from phosphate, graphite, clay and limestone, mineral sands (including titanium) are a leading mineral commodity produced in Sri Lanka. Available info shows 150,000 MT of titanium mineral sands produced in Y2014 entering among the top mineral commodities (limestone at highest slot at 750000 MT in 2014).

“The fully Government-owned Lanka Mineral Sands has successfully increased its production and brings in exports revenues to the country. LMSL’s contribution to our economy is continuously increasing,” said Bathiudeen, and added: “This has become possible due to the commitment of LMSL staff and mine workers. I thank the entire LMSL workforce including workers of Pulmoddai mine. We are looking at bringing in value addition methods to increase revenue further.”

Pulmoddai mines under LMSL were shut down in 1998 due to the then-ongoing war but resumed production in 2005, showing no loss of its high quality. The Pulmoddai factory was upgraded with new technologies in 2014. The key products that the company markets are rutile, zircon, and ilmenite. From January to August 2017, 127497 MT mineral sands were produced and 43109 MT of mineral sands were sold earning Rs 456.3 million net profit after tax. Initial steps for obtaining mining licenses in Kokilai and Kokkuthuduwai areas have commenced and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is also being reviewed. This January (2018) alone Pulmoddai produced more than 6000 MT of ilmenite - twice its usual production volume of 3000 MT.

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