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Monday, 19 November 2012

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Arial surveys to discover mineral deposits

The Environment Ministry will investigate the metallic mineral deposits still in obscurity and unearth such resources for the benefit of the country,said Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

He said the Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau has been tasked with the operation assisted by local and foreign geophysical survey expertize.

Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) Chairman Dr. N P Wijayananda elaborating on the project said almost all mineral deposits emerging to the surface of the earth have been detected and exploited. He said many mineral deposits could be available deep inside the earth.

"As an example appatite (Rock phosphate) deposits similar to that at Eppawala in the Anuradhapura district may exist in other areas so far undetected. There could also be metallic mineral resources, such as, iron ore yet to be discovered. We need state-of-the-art technology to detect the places where such resources are availabele. Therefore,we have planned to conduct an aerial Geophysical survey in the country," Dr Wijayananda emphasized.

He said though this project was to be implemented sometime back, it did not get off the ground due to the war and LTTE threat.

"It has been planned to use an aircraft and helicopter fitted with sophisticated geophysical measuring gear, including magneto meters and radio metric measuring instruments etc.

"The helicopter will be used to obtain data in the central mountains. The low flying aircraft will fly about 100 metres above the surface but, this will depend on the topography and rock formation," Dr Wijayananda explained.

The South Africa based Geophysical Survey Institute will provide the aircraft and the technology, while a Dutch banking institute will offer financial assistance to conduct the air borne geophysical survey.

According to Dr Wijayananda, the two packages, both, technical and financial are before the Treasury to consider the nature of conditions of the patronizing agencies.

"Once completed the data will help us to demarcate the areas where metallic mineral deposits are available. We will be able to explore them for the benefit of our motherland," Dr Wijayananda commented positively.

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