Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd launches new mineral export methodology
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The Lanka Mineral Sands Company has taken steps to introduce a new methodology for the sale of Sri Lanka’s minerals as the foreign exchange earnings remain low due to the export of high value minerals such as ilmenite, rutile and zircon as raw materials to foreign countries.
The officials said that measures have been taken to sell the minerals at the highest prices ever in the history and accordingly a ton of rutile will be sold for US $ 1733, a ton of ilmenite for $ 251 and a ton of Hi-Titanium ilmenite for $ 250.
Agreements have been signed to give more than 7% for each ton as the state share.Due to this, the new system has been set up in such a way that the government can earn a large amount of revenue, the officials said.
Lanka Mineral Sands (LMS) will ship it’s largest-ever consignment of mineral sands by value this week, signaling the advent of a new chapter of operations.
The cargo of concentrate ‘tailings’ is valued at several million dollars, and is being shipped to its Chinese buyer following an international tender process with the participation of five bidders at a pre-determined benchmark price.
This shipment represents the largest-ever for LMS since its inception in 1957.
Puttalam Ilmenite Limited (PIL), the country’s premier explorer of mineral sands, represented the buyer in Sri Lanka.
Puttalam Ilmenite together with its partners have invested over US$ 20 million in Sri Lanka for research and development in the country’s mining sector, and is looking to grow the commercial potential of the segment internationally.
The company is planning to build the country’s first world-class mineral processing facility that will represent the largest-ever foreign direct investment in the sector through the BOI.
Lanka Mineral Sands is a 100 percent state-owned enterprise, and is one of Sri Lanka’s few profitable state entities.
Its operations are based at Pulmoddai on the East Coast, employing over 600 people including engineers. LMS is in the process of expanding its operations at Kokkilai.
Chairman of Lanka Mineral Sands, Dr. Udeni Dassanayake said, “This has been a progressive year for LMS, and we have already transferred over Rs.1.7 billion to the Treasury in addition to securing a new buyer and obtaining market-based price for our product.
General Manager of PIL, Ryan Rockwood, a seasoned mining professional said, “Sri Lanka’s mineral sands sector offers great potential, and we possess a good understanding of its composition and value for buyers all across the world.”
“Ilmenite has taken the lead in mineral sands exploration in Sri Lanka in tandem with our international partners, who have placed a great deal of trust in our company and are continuing to invest in Sri Lanka.