October 5, 2012 (Source: Sri Lankan’s Daily News) — Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Limited (KGLL), which was a written off venture solely dependent on the Treasury have seen a remarkable turn around, earning profits now.
Kahatagaha Graphite which is one of the deepest Graphite mines in the world, was taken over by the government in 1971 and was subsequently privatized in 1992. However, due to mismanagement and a series of other issues it was closed down in 1996. The mine was re opened under the management of the present chairman, D. Kalansooriya and they had to clear many overheads which included, over Rs. 50 million back wages, and over Rs. 100 million bank loans.
“When I took over there was a lot of unused graphite and we exported them and generated an income of around Rs. 80 million,” he said. In 2007 we gained an income of Rs. 452 million producing 4.016 MT of graphite. This helped us to be self sufficient in finances and the dependency of the Treasury was zeroed.
“We are happy to state that today KGLL is delisted from 2011 non functioning organizations and we have confidence that our company could have a bright future achieving a net profit of Rs. 193 million from 2006 to 20012.”
Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Limited has a US $ fixed deposit worth Rs.50 million as at end of August 2012.
“ KGLL is a 100 % export oriented company, and its major export countries are U.S.A., U.K., JAPAN, Australia, India and Pakistan. New inquiries have been made for Kahatagaha Graphite from Brunel University of United Kingdom – to be used first in Boeing aero planes and also in future testing of NASA space rockets.
After year 2000, we have entered the European market in UK in 2011, dealing with Graphexel Co. and exporting high grade graphite to the European market. In addition to that of 102 acres, 75 acres of coconut cultivation is also managed by KGLL. While having world recognition, Sri Lanka is the only commercial source of supply of high Carbon Natural Crystalline Vein Graphite and particularly the Kahatagaha mine is capable of mining high purity Natural Vein Graphite withover 99 % carbon free in fully crystallized form. “ Further we had negotiations with the Faculty of Science and Technology Cell of University of Colombo and they have submitted their report for a Value Addition Project in Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Limited. This project has been estimated for Rs.1.5 million and KGLL intends to start this project in the near future.”
“In a bid to increase profitability we are now in the process of introducing value addition programmes to make use of Kahatagaha graphite raw form as a separate organization in keeping with the present government policy.”
“Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology (SLINTEC) has done the testing of Kahatagaha graphite raw form for making nano tubes as a value added end product and such testing is successfully resulted. At present they are awaiting for the Patent License from USA.” “Steps are being taken up to modify the processing process introducing trommel for primary separation system to improve the efficiency of processing of Run of Mine (ROM) to achieve the buyers requirements, upto the micronizing processing process.” With the assistance of the Faculty of Science and Technology Cell of University of Colombo, KGLL has already started a project in 2012 and it is being implemented to produce new products.
The total work force is 108 including skilled miners and other relevant technical staff.
The principal use of graphite is in the manufacture of refractories, which are used to line the surface of furnaces in the steel industry, crucibles and foundries. Over 30 % of the world consumption of graphite is in the form of refractories, crucibles, retorts, stoppers, gaskets, bearings, dry cell batteries, varnishes & paints, sleeves and nozzles for industrial purposes.