Ministry to probe graphite mine issue (Updated)

The Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has appointed a special high level committee to investigate allegations surrounding the Kahatagaha Graphite mine at Dodangaslanda.

“The Committee will look into matters related to employees of Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Limited (KGLL). Ministry Secretary Anura Siriwardena will chair this High Level Committee” the Minister said.

He said that in the global graphite supply map, Sri Lanka has a strong reputation as a rare supplier of vein graphite in Commercial scale.

Sri Lankan made vein graphite has high purity levels (ranging from 80-99% carbon). Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Limited (KGLL), a graphite firm in Sri Lanka, operating under Minister Bathiudeen’s Industry and Commerce Ministry, mines graphite through several mines that have proven deposit reserves.

“In 2005, KGLL was vested as a public enterprise (in keeping with the ‘Mahinda Chintana’ policy) revived and strengthened in 2007 and succeeded in producing 4,016 MT of graphite. KGLL successfully exported a cumulative 2972 M/tonnes of graphite from FY 2005/’06 to 2011/’12 FY period,” the Minister said.

A group of miners at the mine launched a hunger strike inside the graphite mine in Dodamgaslanda yesterday, the police media unit said.

The police said that 60 miners attached to the graphite mine launched the strike inside the 1200 ft mine.

The miners launched the strike over several demands, the police media unit added. (Colombo Gazette)

UPDATE: The hunger strike has been called off following discussions with the Ministry