Jan 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka has granted new graphite concessions to the Australian graphite explorer, MRL Corporation to explore graphite in the northwest.
MRL Corporation said it made an application for an additional 367 one- square kilometer graphite licenses in Sri Lanka and 18 of them have been approved.
All applications lie in proven graphite provinces with workings dating back in excess of 70 years, the company said in a market disclosure.
The Pujapitiya project area, where the initial claims have been secured, is south of the government owned Kahatagaha / Kolongaha Mining Operations, and hosts prolific remnant graphite at surface with numerous abandoned underground shafts.
MRL Corporation said that during the preliminary site visits several thin graphite veins were visible in the roadway and hillside cuttings, with minor veining visible in the mine shaft entrance.
According to MRL Corporation, Sri Lanka is known as the only major producer of crystalline vein Graphite (or lump Graphite) - the highest quality of naturally occurring material in the world. Vein graphite is the rarest, most valuable form of natural Graphite and the purity level of vein Graphite produced in Sri Lanka is in excess of 90% carbon.
The company has carried out geological mapping on selected priority grids and it is expected to be completed in the coming days.
Further geophysical surveys in combination with results from underground exploration will determine priority drilling locations.
An underground mining crew has been employed to commence entering priority workings at Wallagala in late January, MRL Corporation said.
If commercial thickness veins are encountered, the mine entrance will be secured with the view of potential early entry production.