Bogala Graphite Mines

July 5, 2011

The mines were discovered during the reign of the Dutch and later developed by the British in 1920.
Over 5000 tons of graphite is mined annually but most of it is sent to Japan, UK and Europe.
No tickets are necessary to tour the mines. But prior notice is essential. And mine officials prefer if
visitors come only during the morning hours. This mine is a kilometre at its deepest point.
Depending on the size of the crowd mine officials prefer to customize the tour as each trip in the
vertical lifts that go underground takes about 10 minutes each way with a maximum of about 5 – 6
medium built people. They officials insist that you wear protective gear like hard hats and steel toed
boots to help them maintain their immaculate record of almost no accidents.
The Bogala graphite mine commenced operations 163 years ago in 1847. Bogala graphite mine
which is in operation employing over 2,000 employees with tunnels running into a depth of 275
metres, is considered to be the deepest and the oldest graphite mine in the island and it is estimated
that the mine will have a good yield for at least another 25-30 years.
The mine with a large number of horizontal shafts has also inspired a tradition of folk literature in
the area as well. Graphite of the highest carbon percentage in the world is said to originate from the
Bogala mines.

Directions and location

Coming from Colombo along the Avissawella- Kegalle Road one could reach the mine by turning off
at the Kotiyakumbura town and find the mine which is located in Aruggammana. Everyone in the
local area will be able to guide you.


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