April, 9, 2019
As their state controlled mining operation reported huge profits last year, thrilled workers of Sri Lanka’s premier mineral sand miner happily bagged a bonus of Rs 100,000 each on 8 April. “I wanted to reward you with a bonus of Rs 125,000 but due to recent trade union actions, I am only able to give Rs 100,000” said the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen on 8 April in Pulmoddai. Minister Bathiudeen, joined by workers of all ranks and his top officials was addressing the bonus award session for Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd (LMSL) at the company’s Pulmoddai plant premises. LMSL reported Rs 676 million Mn net profit after tax in Y2018.
“During the previous weeks there were strikes and other trade union actions here, and they disrupted this plant’s smooth production process. The Trade Unions were drawing the innocent workers to their protests and getting them into trouble. If you have grievances, you should directly complain to the LMSL management instead of resorting to strikes. If these strikes did not take place, you would be collecting a bonus of Rs 125,000 today instead of Rs 100,000. Due to trade union action, bonus rates have come down and you have lost a bigger pay-out” said Minister Bathiudeen, and added: “Some people are speculating that the Pulmoddai mines are to be sold to private buyers. Neither the government nor my Ministry has approved transfer of the profitable Pulmoddai deposits to any local or foreign buyer. As long as these mines are under me, they will not be allowed to be privatised.”
The key products that LMSL markets are Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, and “Ilmenite with by-products”. In 2019/’20, LMSL plans to expand to Value Added Products and to establish a new mineral processing plant in the vicinity of Kokillai.
Pulmoddai mining operations celebrated their 61st anniversary on 1st March 2019.
Photo - Sri Lanka Minister of Industry Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons & Cooperative Development Skills Development and Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen hands over a bonus payment to a worker at Pulmoddai mines of Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd on 8 April.