Gem mining in Sri Lanka is mostly commonly form secondary deposits. washing the gem gravels finds corundum’s (sapphire), ruby, cat’s-eye and other chrysoberyls, spinel, garnet, beryl, tourmaline, topaz, quartz, and many other gemstones. Sri lanka has all the geological conditions such as underground heat, pressure and duration to forming gem crystals which we called (primary deposits )most commonly forming in mountains. After forming gem crystals in the mountains because of the hardness these crystals comes to the ground with underwater paths with many more other types of stones which we called Gem gravel. most common word is “ILLAMA”
Gem Mining licenses in Sri Lanka are offering by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA).
There are three types of mines license are legally allowed.
- Pit-mining operations using traditional methods – Using woods each gem pit goes between 20 feet to 50 feet depends on gem gravels. Each pit there are about 6 to 7 people are working. This is the most common and traditional way of doing mines very much environmental friendly operation.
- Mechanized mining (using excavators and washing machines ) – Not very common these days as these types of license government have very strict rules and regulations.
- Very few % of river mining as well.