Australian miner to drill for mineral samples in Puttalam, Sri Lanka


June 08, 2016 (LBO) – Australian miner Iluka Resources Ltd is expected to drill for mineral samples soon as it negotiates with the government for a mining license for ilmenite in Puttalam, Sri Lanka.

“Iluka is currently assessing the development of a mineral sands deposit known as the Puttalam Quarry deposit. The Puttalam Quarry deposit is located in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka, 170 kilometres north of the capital Colombo,” the company said in its March quarterly production report.

The company’s activities in Sri Lanka are preliminary and remain focused on “government negotiations in relation to the legal and investment terms” for the development, the report said.

“A phased pre-feasibility study approach has been adopted, with funds approved in January 2016 to undertake a limited number of work packages to address areas including: collection and processing of metallurgical bulk samples; hydrogeology, drilling of boreholes and subsequent monitoring; geology; and environmental (soil survey).”

The company, which has an exploration license, will drill on land on a long-term lease to Holcim. The previous government wanted value addition to the minerals to take place in Sri Lanka, such as development of pigments, although this is not an area Iluka focuses on.

The company is an international mineral sands resource company involved in exploration, development, and marketing of mineral sands products. The major part of Iluka’s production base is in Australia, with mining and processing operations in Virginia, USA.