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The present status of the development of mineral resources in Sri Lanka


D. Jayawardena

Geological Survey Department, Colombo 2, LK
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The development of mineral resources is a vital pre-requisite for the rapid expansion of the economy of Sri Lanka. During the past five years the mineral sector has recorded a significant growth with the expansion of the gem trade, export of petroleum products and ceramic-ware. Increased export earnings from graphite, heavy mineral sands a11d mica have also been noted. The rapid growth in the cement industry utilizing local mineral raw materials was helpful in meeting the demand for cement due to the unprecedented increase in construction activity. The main constraint in the rapid expansion of the mineral sector is the lack of proper assessment of the mineral resources in the Island. The Geological Survey Department has taken up the challenge of locating new mineral deposits and also to carry out development of known mineral resources with the main objectives of assessment of the quality and quantity available for exploitation. Systematic exploitation of these non-renewable resources is a vital factor, if the local mineral-based industries are to expand to meet increased demands in the future. An attempt has been made in this paper to describe the development of the mineral resources of Sri Lanka that arc presently utilized by the various industrial sectors and also exploited for export in raw form. Recent mineral discoveries such as rock phosphate, copper-magnetite ore which are of economic significance and the utilization of these minerals for establishment of new industries are also described. The paper also discusses target areas for future mineral exploration programmes.

How to Cite: Jayawardena, D., 1984. The present status of the development of mineral resources in Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 12(1), pp.53–69. DOI:
Published on 31 Jan 1984.
Peer Reviewed


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