Dambulla Quartz Mining Case


SC 118/2004

This case was heard in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka regarding a fundamental rights application under Article 12(1) of the Constitution. The petitioner instituted an application after being refused a permit for quarry mining in a site located less than a mile from the Girithale – Minneriya National Reserve, close to the Sigiriya archaeological area. Meanwhile the 6th respondent had been issued a license.

The Court found that the respondent’s permit was void, as it was not an Environmental Protection License under the National Environmental Act No 47 of 1980

As such all mining activity carried out by the 6th Respondent were illegal and the Court held that all mining activities were to be banned in the area as the environmental impact had been severely detrimental. The Court ordered that the area was to be under a program of reforestation. It also ordered that the State should pay the petitioner a sum of Rs. 20,000 as costs and the 6th respondent to pay a sum of Rs. 50,000.

For more information about this case, please download the handbook “Some Significant Environmental Judgements in Sri Lanka” by visiting our legal publications page.