Quartz is an abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental crust. It is a hard substance and can transmit ultraviolet light, unlike glass. Quartz is piezoelectric, which means that it creates a voltage when deformed. Quartz can produce a small electric charge by itself when it is put under pressure. So it is widely used in electronic industry.
Sri Lanka is famous throughout the world for the exquisite mineral varieties of very high purity. Among them vein quartz too holds prime importance. The material, generally known as quartz is primarily made of silicon and oxygen (silica-SiO2) and is considered one of the most abundant minerals found in the Earth’s crust.
Major part of silica produced throughout the world is from silica sand. High purity silica sand is not so common; yet, high purity quartz is readily available in many areas of Sri Lanka. Most of these areas have reasonably large vein quartz deposits, (originated as veins) having very high purity (99.5 percent of SiO2).
Areas having abundant vein type quartz deposits
- Mahagama (Embilipitiya)
- High grade vein quartz can be used as a raw or refined material in many industries,
Uses of Quartz
- Gem and jewelry
- Quartz-glass tubes for lamps
- Liquid filters
- Solar panels
- Semiconductor industry
- Computer components
- Ceramic ware manufacturing
In 2008 Sri Lanka exported its quartz to the German, Japanese, Malaysian, South Korean, Singaporean and more markets. In 2008 Sri Lanka exported 37,109 metric tons (MTs) of quartz, that raked in Rs. 876.46 million (U.S. $ 7.6 million) in foreign exchange. The figure the previous year was 35,066 m.t.s. valued at Rs. 849.21 million (U.S. $ 7.4 million).The government body, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (G.S.M.B.), is the central body responsible for collating such data.Though there is a ban in the export of quartz in lump form, this practice was allegedly continuing, with some of those exports being passed off as chips, an export that is however allowed.
Current Quartz producers/exporters in Sri Lanka
- 3MB Aspire Quartz (Pvt) Limited
- ALCHEMY Boulders (Pvt) Ltd
- As-Shama (Pvt) Ltd
- Blue Bay Mineral International Private Limited
- Ceylon Industrial Minerals (Pvt) Ltd
- Ceylon Minerals
- Ceylon Quartz Industries (Pvt) Ltd
- Ceyquartz MBI (Pvt) Ltd
- Imexma Minerals (Pvt) Limited
- J. Lanka Quartz (Pvt) Limited
- Krishna Mining Company Ceylon Ltd
- Nippon Techno International Private Limited
- Soul Mates Trading