Several state institutions have been tasked with handing over a report within a week on the possibility of mining gemstones in several reservoirs that have been dried up in the prevailing drought.
The matter had been taken up at a recent meeting of the Parliament
Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis.
The SOC has urged the Mahaweli Authority, the Ceylon Electricity Board, the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), the Irrigation Department and the Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute (GJRTI) to provide a report in this regard.
According to MP Gamini Waleboda, the Chairman of the relevant SOC, these institutions will look into the possibility of mining gem deposits in the reservoirs of Samanala Wewa, Norton Bridge and Ihala Kotmale.
He has said that the NGTA and GJRTI has estimated that gem deposits under the Samanala Wewa alone were worth around USD 1.5 – 2 Billion.
However, the SOC has informed the relevant institutions to come up with a national mechanism to mine these gems without causing harm to the environment, the reservoirs or to the electricity generation.
(Source : Divaina)