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Sri Lanka issues permits during Coronavirus curfew to start mineral exports

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said it had started issuing permits for firms that are shipping minerals out of the country during a nation-wide curfew to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

“If anyone wants the license, they can inform us and our officers will contact them and continue the process to give them the licence,” Acting Director General D Sajjana De Silva told EconomyNext.

“We issue export permits for exporters since they can’t export any mineral without that permission. At the moment we have about hundred mineral exporters in Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka is under work-at-home holiday and nation-wide curfews since the country’s airports were closed on March 19 to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

De Silva said the GSMB is also willing to provide licenses to re-open their factories for processing prior to export.

“We are having discussions about that and we hope to start them in the next month under the health supervisions and minimum amount of employers.” Siva said.

“In exporting we have the authority to manage all the minerals except gems and petroleum.”

Exporters can contact the following persons for permits

Director General acting – 077 731 5425

Director Mineral Rights – 077 574 8875

Sri Lanka allows only some minerals to be exported, while some industrial minerals are prohibited.

Graphite, ilmenite, and rutile are key mineral sand export from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka exported 33.9 million US dollars of minerals in 2019, Central Bank data showed, down 1.4 percent. In January 2020, mineral exports were down 15.4 percent to 2.0 million US dollars (Colombo/Apr12/2020)

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