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Aggregates and Mining Industry of Sri Lanka

To Development of a country construction of Roads, Buildings and other Concrete


structures are premier requirement. For that aggregates and mining industry must
be very essential. The main authority who gives permission, controlling and
monitoring of this industry is Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB).
According to the monthly production, there are three types of Industrial Mining
licenses (IML) available.
Type C : Small scale aggregate producers who supply aggregates to domestic
requirements and rural projects where rock quality is not highly expected. The
supply quantity not exceed 50 cube per month (141 m)
Type B : The production not exceed 500 cube per month the target market is
same as type C
Type A : Concern mostly about the large construction Projects-not limited quantity .
The Rock quality and properties must be at standard of the projects requirements.
(Strength, hardness, Impact resistance etc)
Even though the Type A aggregate mining industry is the most important, there
are lots of constraints which make more difficult to start and conduct this industry.
1. Difficulty of finding a suitable rock source with required standard properties.
i.
At least 5-10 acre land with sufficient amount of bed rock is
needed for this industry.
ii.
There should not be any residency at least 300 m of the rock
iii.
Since the industry is hazardous (Dust emission, Noisy etc.),
peoples protest who close to the industry arise frequently.
iv.
Clear ownership of this type of rock and land is rare.
v.
Even in state lands, ownership of most lands goes to the Forest
department or wild life department. Wild life department does
not allow, carrying out such industry in their lands. Forest
department also make lot of interferences in addition to
substantial payments. Frankly saying, that huge amount of
political and bureaucratic involvements and illegal payments
occur to discourage the entrepreneur.
vi.
Even though some rocks available at remote areas, aggregate
transport cost leads the project to heavy economic losses.

2. Difficulty of access road to the rock source


i. A type aggregates and mining industry needs good and wide roads, not
only to transport aggregate material but also to transport machinery and
heavy equipment (Crusher plant parts, containers of wear parts etc.).
Narrow and rural roads block this requirement. Sometime people do not

allow widening such road due to the reasons of Increase of traffic of this
type of road causes people unexpected troubles. Therefore Protests can
be expected and additional road maintenance costs can be incurred
during the process.
On the other hand, large amount of suitable rock sources without above mention
restrictions are available in the areas where the plantation companies of Sri Lanka
operate. Since they are not interested in entering aggregates and mining industry
most important and profitable business aspect is still not utilized. If they are
interested, they may be among the top in this industry. The reasons can be listed
as,
1. They have their own mother rocks.
2. These areas are almost isolated. No residence available in 500m-1000m
radius.
3. Major roads pass through or very close to any plantation
4. Fairly close distance to major city or town (within 20-30 km)
5. Estate roads easily develop as the access road to the quarry and crusher
location
Hence, proper comprehension of the pros over the cons can pave the route to a
very successful and lucrative line of business in mining industry. Since, this is not
currently practiced noticeably in Sri Lankan context; it appears to be a viable option
for the companies operating in plantation industry. Labour workforce will not be an
issue in such areas due to the abundance of the heavy man power.
Expansion of the readily available estate roads would provide the access to the
quarry site. Development of the estate road network can be implemented as a part
of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects and the access roads will be
developed in the process with the complete consent and cooperation of the nearby
residents.
Transportation cost is considered to be one of the most critical factors out of all as it
holds a substantial amount in the overall cost per cube. Provided that the plantation
estate is located close to major cities, the so called critical factor can be reduced in
considerable proportions and that will create a competitive advantage over the
others.
Moreover, the implementation of the rehabilitation program after the Quarry lifetime
would be much easier in a plantation area as well. Conversion of the aggregate
mined area into a reservoir would be an ideal solution to a plantation area provided
that the conditions are favorable.