Sri Lanka streamlines sand, mineral transport licenses

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said new licenses for transport of sand and other minerals would be issued under simplified process from May 11, dropping impractical rules which had led to illegal activities, an official said.

The new licenses could be used from June.

Under Sri Lanka’s Minerals (Prospecting and mining) Act 33 of 1992, it is illegal to transport minerals without a license. The GMSB issues about 100,000 licenses a month or about 1.2 to 1.5 million licenses a year.

“According to the Act a license should be obtained to transport, exports and selling. And if someone doesn’t do it, it is punishable by the law,” GSMB,Director Mineral Titling, Hemal Liyanarachchi told EconomyNext.

“We were planning to simplify the process of getting a licence because we observed a rise in illegal activities due to the complexity of the process.”

There have been complaints from other industries including clay, that due to the complexity of regulations, larger companies who would like to abide by environmental regulations and refill mined areas are not mining and they depend on third parties.

Due the requirement to go to 16 agencies even to mine their own land, Sri Lanka’s ceramic firms have said they buy raw material from contractors or import them.

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Liyanarachchi said information such as the exact transport schedule for the next month or the vehicle number would not be asked before hand, as the schedule depended on the demand and supply.

“So now we have decided we don’t want any excess information other than what is in the application form,” Liyanarachchi said.

“We now do not ask for the transporting locations or the number of the vehicle transporting.”

The mineral supplier can fill in the vehicle number after a truck is hired to take the cargo, but the number cannot be altered after that.

The delivery destination also would not be required.

The Bureau was focusing on ensuring that the actual mining of minerals was done according to rules.

“By doing it some can say it has given freedom for illegal transportation.” Liyanarachchi said.

“But my opinion is if we supervise our mining sites properly we don’t have any issues in giving reliefs to the transporting. If we control the illegal mining sites we will be able to give this relief.”

Liyanarchchi said the new simplified Transport License will be effective from May 20, 2O2O and it is requested that all police officers in charge (OIC) would be made aware of it.

“We will start issuing the license from this month but the law will be applicable starting from June.” Liyanarachchi said.

The following rules shall apply.

1. The number of the vehicle used for transport will not be included by the Bureau at the time of issuance of the transport license. The vehicle number, driver’s name and NlC number should be included in the transport license by the licensee or his / her agent at the time of commencement of transport.

2. At the time of commencement of transport, the licensee or his /her agent must complete the
information on the back of the transport license and provide the same to the driver.

3. Accordingly, the police divisions that have so far been included in the transport permits will not be
included as destinations and only the excavation site will be included.

4. Neither the Lorry Number nor the information entered by the Licensee / Agent or the bureau should
be changed or altered.

5. This license allows the transportation of minerals at any time of the day.

6. The licensee has been informed that he/ she must possess documents to verify the information
entered. (Colombo/May08/2020)