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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2642

Sri Lanka to launch survey on a study on unknown gem deposits

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 08 June, ( The Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute [GJRTI] plans to explore and evaluate exploitation possibilities of gem minerals deposits in Sri Lanka.

Chairman of GJRTI Asoka Jayawardana says the GJRTI has planned to study on unknown valuable mineral deposits and the study would investigate and prepare a detailed inventory of the gem occurrences in the country with sufficient data guide development of investment profiles.

According to the Chairman, the recent scientific investigations have revealed that about 50 percent of the total landmass of Sri Lanka is gem bearing sources. Except Northern Province of Sri Lanka, all other provinces have the possible gem potential occurrences. However, out of these, only few areas are still being mined. The main technique of gem exploration as well as mining in Sri Lanka is still the traditional methods.

The discovery of new gem bearing locations is largely fortuitous and expansion of the industry is hampered by the lack of understanding of the extract source of gems and of guidelines for gem exploration.

Therefore update the gem location inventories and exploring new gem bearing areas using appropriate scientific tools is at present very necessary. Exploration and exploitation of these deposits will hasten the economic development of the country for the future, save much needed foreign exchange in the country and also create employments, he said.

The proposed work program contains carry out geological reconnaissance studies, evaluate gem mineral resources and prepare a comprehensive data base and gemmological maps and obtain support from the collaborating institutions.

The scientists of the GJRTI have already completed proposed based map of exploration and assessment of gem deposits.

The sub programs will complete study survey, collection of field information , compilation of new geological and mineralogical information into a map, reconnaissance geological and mineralogical studies in the provinces, carryout detail field and laboratory investigations to assess the probability of occurring gem deposits, submit interim report to the Ministry of Enterprise Development , compile the gem mineral inventory with existing data and new findings , detail geological , mineralogical and geophysical investigations in most probable areas of gems and identify the possible areas for commercial gem mining.

According to the internal sources of the GJRTI, the institute does not have enough experts and laboratory equipment and survey equipment to complete the project. In order to complete this project in eight provinces in Sri Lanka total estimate would be Rs.30, 120,000.00 and duration will be four years .This excluded the cost of survey equipment, the sources said.

- Asian Tribune -

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