Sri Lankan Gem Mines


A tropical Island in the Indian Ocean, smaller than Scotland and Tasmania and half the size of the state of New York, Sri Lanka nonetheless possesses infinite veriet, rich scenic beauty, unusual water, mineral, biotic resources and an ancient culture heritage.


Gemstone mining as a traditional industry in Sri Lanka runs way back to the era of ancient kings. The traditional, environment friendly and ethical mining methods practiced under the regulatory supervision of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority ( NGJA ) have set many benchmarks in the international gemstone mining area.


The most commonly used gemstone mining method in Sri Lanka us Pid-Head mining and Tunneling. Surface placer mining and River Bed Dredging are the other used widely.


The Ratnapura region was the first locality to mine sapphire on the island. Significant gem-mines throughout Sri Lanka are the Bibile sapphire mines ( central ), Elehara gem fields ( near Ratnapura), Metiyagoda moonstone mines ( south-west coastal ), Morakawa ( south-central ), Nuwereliya mines ( mountain tea plantation area ) and Pelmadulla sapphire mines ( 15km south-east of Ratnapura ).