Sri Lanka is an economically poor country as per ratings in the world. But as per many a cocerns inside of this land you can find many a minerals which have discovered even 2 centuries back still in use . so places and equipments have a history and tose are equipped with old and new technology which is some thing once in life time chance to have a look and be proud
First to mension you have to get permisions to visit both the places and staff there so friendly and show you and explain you heart out .
Kahatagaha and kolongaha graphite mines are placed in Dodamgaslanda in Kurunegala District it is about 3 hours drive from Colombo .
Normally they work only from 8 am to 1 pm like. So when we requested them to visit the place it was suggested to be there as early as possible so that we can have more time at the place .
It is at 2 levels and level one goes until 1132 feet and level 2 goes until 2000 feet with a chain cabled box.at level 1 It uses grand old lifts with newer technology.
It says this is the best vein graphite mine in the world today. Sri Lanka is the only region in the world that produces vein (lump) graphite with a carbon content of more than 90%C in commercial quantities .About 1km away you can locate kolongaha mine . these two are inter connected in underground . you can see a simple rail network those are connected through ducts to transfer graphite mined .
Years back it was given air through a simple mechanism of compressed air pumped from top to bottom through a pipe line. Also they have used carbide lamps (Carbide lamps, or acetylene gas lamps, are simple lamps that produce and burn acetylene which is created by the reaction of calcium carbide with water) in history .
By today they use electricity and conditioned air through hume pipes for mines . but still grand old style .you have to feel it ..ha ha..
When you are going down in lift it is so stressful. ..lucky it is not deviating direction .. J but the struggle is high as you go in a roller coaster for the first time .just hang on it is 2 minutes of low speed ride. It is such joyful end of the day ..
It is having many paths built for last 150 years and still adding .
Well inside you are not allowed to take pictures. So I have to use some internet pictures and video crops in certain times.mining process is still a munual process .
once correct mine lot recognised by them proper lanes are set to access the path . then a worker is separating graphite layers with using a small sedge hammer and it is something eye catching to see .
see the true black color of graphite below
At the top these are washed cleaned and processed . yes these are world best graphite send to most countries in raw form and returns us in price of few folds. But still our value addition is minimal .
Lanka Mineral sands Pulmude
It says when prince Vijaya first landed in sri Lanka he touch the sand and his hands colored copper color . then he named sri lanka as “thambapanni “ .it is recognized by today what he touched was mineral sand and by 2000 years today those rich minerals gone off from mannar side beach (north western beach ) but still you can find very rich mineraled beach and mines in very opposite side of the country in pulmude beach in line of 100s of hectares in span of 6 km like .with sun shine we saw glimpse of shiny sand and it’s scientifically extraction processes .
The Pulmoddai deposit is about six kilometers in length with an average width of 100 meters and is estimated to contain six million tons of heavy sands with an average composition of 70-72 percent ilmenite, 8-10 percent zircon, 8 percent rutile and 0.3 percent monazite. This unique deposit is replenished during the northeast monsoon and the rate of such replenishment is not known.
There are two theories for its origin namely whether the sands come from the continental shelf or from the Mahaweli River with its discharge into the Koddiyar Bay and heavies carried up the coast due to ocean currents.
The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) in collaboration with the Geological Survey Department (Present GSMB) in early 1980s initiated a project for introducing radio isotopes upstream and tried to detect the isotopes at Pulmoddai to prove the latter theory but this project was abandoned. However, since the construction of dams across the Mahaweli, it is noted that deposition of heavy sands has somewhat decreased.
It Is Said That This Deposit Is The Richest Of Its Kind In The World
The blackish deposit, which gives a muddy cum oily-slick appearance as the mild ocean wave recedes, holds rich secrets that are yet to be uncovered. A mineral plant established in the 1950’s is the only such entity that has set about exploiting the immense wealth locked in this natural treasure trove. Amongst the minerals found in the sand are Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, Hi Ti Ilmenite, Monazite, and Garnet mixed in with ordinary sea sand, which is nothing other than Quartz. These minerals have profound use in many industries ranging from paint pigments, paper, plastics, porcelain ware manufacturing, aerospace, and many others.
The scientific belief is that rich minerals originate from volcanic activity and is carried downstream by rivers where they progressively break up into smaller particles. Washed out into the sea, the fragmentation continues until the peculiar behavior of the ocean currents push them back towards the land. It is simply the country’s fortune that Mother Nature chose the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka as her dumping ground, which gave birth to the mineral sands of Pulmuddai. Fresh water needed for the processing of the sand is brought in from the Yan Oya where it is channeled via an underground duct to the facility.
Strolling along the beach with a light and gentle breeze blowing across, the sight was truly unique. As the waves recede muddling up a blackish brown puddle instead of the usual yellow brown hue seen everywhere else, serves as an invitation to unlock the hidden treasures on these pristine beaches. It was simply too irresistible and I was compelled to have a firsthand feel of this wonder of nature. I forked out a chunk of sand, which sat atop my palm as a wet and cohesive blob. The yellow quartz sand that laced the surface more than willingly broke away in the face of the relentless battering of the gentle sea waves to unravel its black counterpart, which was irregularly decorated with natural beach litter such as small rocks and sea shells. The rising sun over the eastern horizon shone gently over this prestigious natural resource and the miniaturized sand dunes created by the gentle sea breeze, which silhouetted against each other.
By today it is not in order. There were plans to sell deposits to a other country some time back .but still it is pending and belongs to sri Lankan government . it says if this deposit processed properly in 30 years sri lanka can pay off all debts having with other countries . but we only extract raw materials only and as graphite returns to us in a heavy price wit small value additions.
Those machineries can buy in a small cost and people can be trained easily. Required laboratories and development plants can easily built in same areas and can give lot of hike to the life style of people of that area.
Over to you authorities to see some change in near future..