Jan 11, Colombo: The government has decided to start production of calcite (Calcium Carbonate), which is used in many products including medicine pills, using the calcite deposit in Balangoda, Minister of environment Mahinda Amaraweera has told the media.
According to the Minister, it has been found that the deposit in Balangoda contains sufficient calcite to fill Sri Lanka’s requirement for 200 years. However, calcite has been imported so far and a large amount of money has been spent for this purpose, the Minister said.
The Minister also said that it has been decided to hand over the resources in the Balangoda calcite deposit to the Geological and Mining Technical Services Company, a fully government owned limited liability company, for proper use.
Calcite (calcium carbonate) is used in the manufacture of all types of tablets, as well as paints, toothpaste, oil exploration, mining industry plastics, hard PVC pipes, paints, powder coatings and ceramics, welding rods automotive and furniture compounds. Calcite is also widely used in industries such as the rubber industry and the leather industry.
He said that a factory would be set up at a cost of Rs. 100 million to convert the 20,000 tonnes of calcite that has been excavated from the Balangoda calcite deposit into calcite powder.
Minister Amaraweera said that the postgraduate institute of the University of Peradeniya has conducted research in this regard and plans to operate the project in collaboration with the Geological Survey and Mining Technical Services Company