Oct 30, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government plans to issue gem mining licenses to low income families living near several river banks.
Secretary to the Environment Ministry D.M.U.T Basnayake has said a programme to issue gem mining licenses would commence under the Mini Kirula programme. The move is expected to help some of the most vulnerable people in the country.
He has noted that licenses would be issued to people living on the banks of the rivers Kalu, Kelani and Walawe.
The license would permit them to mine in the shallow area of the rivers without the use of machinery.
According to Basnayake, the Gem and Jewellery Authority would identify the areas suitable for gem mining along these riverbanks in order to prevent any illegal sand mining.