Sri Lankan Graphite

Sri Lanka is the only region in the world that produces vein (lump) graphite 

  • During the First and Second World Wars approximately 35,000 metric tons/year of natural graphite were exportedOne of the fastest growing economies in the world – GDP growth: 8.2%
  • 25-year civil war ended in May 2009
  • The government is keen on promoting foreign private sector investment, with graphite being the country’s one of most important mineral products
  • Sri Lanka is underlain by Proterozoic high grade metamorphic rocks with Phanerozoic sediments being restricted to the coastal region
  • Sri Lanka has been mining graphite for 200 years
  • Carbon content of more than 90%C in commercial quantities

lump_sri_lanka_plumago_web.jpeg Only two other producing graphite mines in Sri Lanka Today

1. Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Ltd., owned by the Government of Sri Lanka

- Producing 80 tonnes monthly, and is planning to increase production to 125 tonnes monthly in 2013
- Currently mining at a depth of 350m (1,100 feet)
- Minimum 90% purity with majority by weight being lump type at 95% carbon, +10mm

2. Bogala Graphite Ltd., a 90%-owned subsidiary of Germany’s Graphit Kropfmuhl AG– Producing 250 tonnes monthly from one single vein mine

-Being mined from both ends at 2,299 feet from undergrou
-Was producing 6,000 tonnes of value-added graphite annually prior to the global recession and restarted operation at its Ragedara vein mine in July 2012


Plumbago yard (Graphite) Ceylon c.1910

PLUMBAGO (from Lat. plumbum, lead), a name frequently applied to graphite, “Miniran” in sinhala Languge. When Chemistry was in its early days and the graphite was thought to be a form of lead. Because of this, it was called “plumbago” (Latin for “acts like lead”). The black core of pencils is still called “lead”, even though it does not have any lead in it. In allusion to its remote resemblance to lead, whence it is popularly called “black-lead.” Date: c.1910
Location: Colombo, Ceylon
Photographer: Plate & Co., Colombo

Screen_Shot_2014-02-06_at_3.38.07_PM.png Screen_Shot_2014-02-06_at_10.56.54_AM.png Screen_Shot_2014-02-06_at_10.57.29_AM.png