Lanka Mineral Sands to ship largest-ever export order to China - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Lanka Mineral Sands to ship largest-ever export order to China

Lanka Mineral Sands to ship largest-ever export order to China

Daily FT: Lanka Mineral Sands (LMS) was to ship its largest-ever consignment of mineral sands by value last week, signaling the advent of a new chapter of operations.
The cargo of concentrate ‘tailings’ is valued at several million dollars, and was 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 Ltd. (PIL), the country’s premier explorer of mineral sands, represented the buyer in Sri Lanka. Puttalam Ilmenite together with its partners have invested over $ 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 Board of Investment (BOI).
Lanka Mineral Sands is a 100% State-owned enterprise, and is one of Sri Lanka’s few profitable states. 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. Lanka Mineral Sands Chairman 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. We are proud to expand Sri Lanka’s scope and potential reach on the global marketplace, and contribute valuable foreign exchange earnings at this crucial juncture for our economy. Puttalam Ilmenite has been a dynamic partner in this new venture, and we look forward to forging a lasting partnership with the group as we jointly explore new vistas for mineral exports from Sri Lanka.”
PIL General Manager 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. Puttalam 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. We will continue to champion this segment and grow our country’s footprint on the global stage.”
The export of the consignment of mineral sand was facilitated by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of Sri Lanka that provided all necessary approvals for this first-time export. The Bureau alongside the Board of Investment is taking active interest in encouraging investment into the minerals sector of Sri Lanka, engaging with companies like Puttalam Ilmenite Ltd. that has global expertise and reach.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka’s mineral exports sector is an untapped business/investment opportunity. The sector is yet to reach its full potential with many minerals yet to be developed as export commodities. Also, local export authorities are looking at further improving Sri Lanka’s export product portfolio through value additions and diversification. The many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s exports sector. Given the untapped potential in Sri Lanka’s minerals sector, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in the sector. Foreign businesses could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the minerals sector with the aim of expanding locally and internationally.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20230919/Z_3

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