Minister of Industry & Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said recently that neither the government nor this Ministry has approved the transfer of the profitable Pulmoddai mineral sand deposits.
“As we celebrate the 61 year anniversary of Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd (LMSL), it is very important to note that neither the government nor this Ministry has approved any Cabinet Memorandum related to sale or transfer of the profitable Pulmoddai mineral sand deposits which is under LMSL, which in turn is under us. There is also no any negotiation taking place at present on such a transfer of this deposit’s ownership from the government to any other party, as speculated” stressed Minister Bathiudeen.
LMSL- Sri Lanka’s pioneering mineral sands producer marked its 61th anniversary on March 21. The key products that the company markets are Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, Ilmenite with by-products. In 2018, LMSL reported a Rs. 676 million after-tax profit.
“An international tender was called by this Ministry for the sale of ilmenite (for 47.7 percent titanium dioxide grade) and was closed on May 10, 2018. An Indian buyer was selected from the bidders due to their highest bid (at ex-Pulmoddai Factory cost of US $ 145.25 per Metric Tonne M/T) for ilmenite raw sand mined at Pulmoddai mines.
“After the Cabinet-appointed tender board chaired by three secretaries of various ministries decided this buyer wins the bid, the Cabinet granted approval for this sale on 22 June 2018. The stock has now been collected by the buyer as per the usual procedure,” the minister added,
LMSL plans to diversify into new products and locations, expanding to value-added products and establishing a new mineral processing plant in the vicinity of Kokillai in 2019/20.