The Chamber of Mineral Exporters (CME Chamber) was officially launched as a collaborative initiative comprising prominent companies in Sri Lanka who mine, process, add value, and export minerals and mineral-based products.
The Executive Committee of the CME comprises Mr. Amila Jayasinghe – Chairman / Director Bogola Graphite Lanka PLC, Mr. A F M Farook – Vice Chairman / Director CeyQuartz MBI (Pvt) Ltd , Dr. Sandun Dalpatadu – Secretary / Director Damsila Resources (Pvt) Ltd., Mr. Yaasir Nizam – Treasurer / Director Mirama Quartz Industries (Pvt) Ltd , Mr. Fahim Naufal – Director Alchemy Heavy Metals (Pvt) Ltd. and Ms. Udesha Bopitiya – Director Lanmic Exports (Pvt) Ltd.
Speaking at the inauguration of the CME, Amila Jayasinghe said they are dedicated to:
· Enhancing and advancing the mineral resource industry in the country.
· Collectively addressing and enhancing the value addition for local minerals.
· Collectively addressing the challenges faced by the industry.
“The Chamber aims to utilize Sri Lanka’s mineral resources for economic growth, employment, and sustainable development. It marks a milestone by uniting key exporters towards a vibrant mineral resource industry. The minerals available in Sri Lanka present an opportunity to increase the country’s international market presence to expand its global footprint. The Chamber aims to drive growth, innovation, and sustainable development in the mineral resource industry by leveraging resources effectively. ” said Chairman Amila Jayasinghe.
Vice Chairman A F M Farook , said that the goals and objectives of the Chamber are to :
· Position the mineral industry as a major export revenue generator for Sri Lanka
· Establish partnerships and encourage investments to boost foreign exchange earnings and overall economic growth.
· Propel the mineral industry to new heights, creating employment and enhancing competitiveness in the global market.
· Work with the public sector to develop long-term policies for sustainable development and responsible mining practices.
· Partner with state and non-state organizations for eco-friendly practices, sustainable mining, and preserving natural resources for future generations.
Jayasinghe went on to explain the manner in which the benefits of their industry could be channeled back to the country, due to the collaborative efforts of their association. He also said that due to the many hurdles and impediments in their way, the progress of the industry was greatly hampered , some of these being :
· Rapid policy changes, inconsistent regulations, and tax laws affecting investment decisions and long-term planning.
· Political instability which leads to delays in decision-making and infrastructure projects.
· Heightened sovereign risk impacting investor confidence, borrowing costs, and currency fluctuations.
· Lengthy and complex regulatory processes which slow down projects and increase costs.
· Unfounded/baseless environmental and social concerns causing project delays due to opposition.
· Volatile global commodity prices and demands which affect revenue and profitability.
· Geopolitical developments which add complexity, including changes in trade policies, tariffs, and international relations.
The newly formed CME called on the government to assist the industry, thereby boosting the country’s economy by implementing the following:
· Establishing transparent and consistent policies and regulations for mining and exports.
· Have independent oversight bodies that implement a strong regulatory framework with clear guidelines and regular audits to monitor compliance and identify corrupt practices.
· Simplifying and streamlining the permitting and licensing process for mineral exports using online platforms utilizing digital technologies (e.g., blockchain technology) and having one-stop service facilities.
· Encouraging public-private partnerships in state-owned mineral enterprises for transparency and accountability.
The CME together with it’s members will work towards not only enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s mineral resource industry but will also contribute to the creation of high-value job opportunities and knowledge transfer, while maximizing the value addition locally to the minerals to ensure maximum retention of value for Sri Lanka