Iluka says seeking clarity on Sri Lanka minerals exploration

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Australian mineral sands miner Iluka Resources Ltd. has said it is seeking clarification from the new Sri Lankan government on its proposed exploration and mining venture in north western Puttalam.

The company has begun what it called a ‘scoping study’, a preliminary study done in early stage projects based on inferred resources, that precedes a full feasibility study.

"In Sri Lanka, the focus remained on gaining clarity with the government in relation to the legal and investment terms for the development of the Puttalam project," Iluka said in a stock exchange filing.

"Iluka’s Major Project Group has commenced a scoping study on the deposit aimed at transitioning to potential pre-feasibility study stage in the fourth quarter of 2015."

The company, one of the world’s biggest producers of minerals sands, has said it has "large, long life, scaleable sulphate ilmenite deposit" in Puttalam.

Iluka has been given exploration licences by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau and also acquired another license when it bought PKD Resources (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan domiciled company which owns an exploration tenement located near Puttalam.

The move prompted concerns about whether the firm had broken local laws which do not allow exploration licences to be transferred.

Iluka has said it is prepared to invest in making value added products from the minerals in mines in the island.

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