gemology

Gem Mining Video 1

Gem Mining Video 2

Gem Mining Video 3

Gem Mining in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean that is smaller than Scotland or Tasmania and roughly half the size of the state of New York. Despite its diminutive size, Sri Lanka boasts an infinite variety of landscapes, unusual water, mineral, and biological resources, and ancient cultural heritage.

Sri Lanka’s strategic location on the sea lanes connecting East and West has exposed it to significant cultural and political influence throughout its history. From ancient times, the island was well-known to travelers of various nations, and its renown for rare stones, spices, elephants, and scenic beauty is documented in Greek, Roman, Arab, and Chinese legends.

Gemstone mining has a long history in Sri Lanka, dating all the way back to the time of ancient monarchs. Under the regulatory supervision of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), the traditional, environmentally friendly, and ethical mining processes have established numerous milestones in the international gemstone mining arena. Additionally, traditional mining procedures refined over generations have been the key cause of Sri Lanka’s low rate of mining accidents.

In Sri Lanka, the most often utilized method of gemstone mining is pit-head mining and tunneling. Other extensively utilized processes include surface placer mining and river bed dredging.

blue sapphire
1000ct huge blue sapphire found in Ratnapura Sri Lanka ( Copyright Image – Gemological Institute of Ceylon )

Open Pit – Pit Head gem mining

Open Pit Excavator Mining in Kuruwita - Ratnapura
Open Pit Excavator Mining in Kuruwita – Ratnapura
kamatha
Kamatha in Sinhalese where gem miners keep gemstones bearing soil for a few days or weeks as they collect enough to wash
Open pit mining in Udawalawe Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Udawalawe Sri Lanka
Open pit mining in Udawalawe Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Udawalawe Sri Lanka
Open pit mining in Udawalawe Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Udawalawe Sri Lanka
Open pit mining in Embilipitiya Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Embilipitiya Sri Lanka
Open pit mining in Kolonna Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Kolonna Sri Lanka
Open pit mining in Sankapala Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Sankapala Sri Lanka
Open pit mining in Sankapala Sri Lanka
Open-pit mining in Sankapala Sri Lanka

Tunneling gem mining

Gem mining in tunnels is risk work as some tunnels collapse in muddy areas.

Tunnel mining in Kahawatta Sri Lanka
Tunnel mining in Kahawatta Sri Lanka
This is the area used to prepare woods for tunnels making
This is the area used to prepare woods for tunnels making
This is a shelter for tunnel Mining in Pelmadulla
This is a shelter for tunnel Mining in Pelmadulla
50feet deep in a tunnel (mining location Kahawatta - Sri Lanka)
50feet deep in a tunnel (mining location Kahawatta – Sri Lanka)

River Mining – River Bed Dredging gem mining

River Mining - River Bed Dredging
River Mining – River Bed Dredging

river mining

Gem miner looking for precious at the end of the washing gemstones bearing soil
Gem miner looking for precious at the end of the washing gemstones bearing soil

Sharing Percentages of gem mining

20% Landowner

10% Engine owner

10% Mining Licence owner

Then reduce all necessary expenses including oil, gas, food, wood, kekilla and so on.

Then divide the rest amout

Ex for 8 gem miners and one Manager: If the total rest is Rs.40,000

20,000 Mining owner

20,000 gem miners

Manager 4000

Miner 2000 ( Rs.16,000 / 8 * 2000 )

Head Bass Get 1.5% from total 100% Rs.1500

Some areas have bit different sharing procedures in gem mining. In some cases, especially if they found so many gemstones every day gem mining owners take all the big stones and give smaller stones to gem miners to sell and share the profit. Sometimes head bass gets a bucket of full gem gearing soil to try his chance.

gemology

Gem formation Article Composed by :

සම්පත් සමරසේකර
Sampath Samarasekara

Chairman: Gemological Institute of Ceylon
Chairman: Youth Gem Professionals Association
Chairman: Sampath Gems
Director: Ceylon Sapphire Gems and Jewels
Director: Ceylon Gem Fair International
Chairman: Nanosoft Web Develop Company

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