Designing, planning and operation of surface and underground mines, tunnelling and industrial rock blasting, designing and managing mineral processing and aggregate preparation plants, carrying out environmental impact assessments of mining, exploration and mining of off-shore deposits, geophysical and geo-chemical investigations, interpretation of airborne / space borne data related to mineral occurrences, geotechnical investigations for civil construction works, solving water, soil and air related pollution issues, petroleum exploration and processing, and all aspects of gemmology.


To achieve excellence in sustainable development of mineral industry in the country for the benefit of the national economy, through creation and dissemination of knowledge


To produce competent graduates in the fields of Mineral Exploration, Mining and Mineral Processing to achieve sustainable development in the mineral industry.

To conduct high quality research and provide professional experience to become leaders in the field of Earth   Resources Engineering.


The history of the Department of Earth Resources Engineering dates to 1973, when Houldsworth-Katubedda link, termed as “Leeds Link” was instituted for the establishment of graduate level education schemes in Sri Lanka. This department was established as a division of School of Applied Science, under the above link with the assistance of Overseas Development Ministry in London. From 1973 to 2000 the department was under the name of Mining and Minerals Engineering and offered the degree of Bachelor of the Science of Engineering in Mining and Minerals Engineering.

Responding to the challenges created by the expansion of the industrial sector, the economic growth, and the Government policies, the Department was restructured in the year 2000, and named as the Department of Earth Resources Engineering, covering a wider range of disciplines according to the needs of the country. As a result, the student intake per year was increased to 50.

Currently, the department offers a four-year full time B.Sc. Engineering Honors Degree Program in Earth Resources Engineering. M.Sc./PG Diploma in Mining and Mineral Exploration, M.Sc., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degree programs by research are also available in collaboration with relevant industries. The Department also offers two part time courses in Gemology and Geology at certificate level.

Students of the Department are exposed to the areas of mineral exploration, mining engineering and mineral processing. Mineral exploration involves the study of geology of ore deposits and exploration using geophysical and geochemical methods, geological mapping, groundwater studies and offshore exploration for minerals. Mining involves, mine designing, rock blasting, shaft sinking, tunneling, drilling, hoisting, and quarrying in open-pit and underground mining. Mineral processing involves processing of minerals for metal extraction and refining minerals for industries.

In year 2004, the Department managed to secure a grant funded by the World Bank for the purpose of improving the relevance and quality of undergraduate education (IRQUE) as an emerging field of study. Consequently, the department revised and expanded its undergraduate curriculum to offer three minors under the study stream of Earth Resources Engineering. These three minors are Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (RS&GIS), Ocean Resources Engineering, and Gem & Jewellery.

In 2014, the Department was awarded a grant funded by the Government of Sri Lanka through the 2013 budget proposal for the purpose of introducing Petroleum Engineering into the undergraduate education system. As a result, the main degree program was restructured with Mining and Minerals Engineering stream having four focus areas in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (RS&GIS), Ocean & Resources Engineering, Gem & Jewellery and Petroleum Engineering.

Greater emphasis is laid on introducing modern software in a variety of disciplines such as rock blasting, mine planning and design with the establishment of a new computer design laboratory. Students in department gain further exposure to modern design software and skills in modeling. Those who select the focus area of RS & GIS will be exposed to theory and application in this field, which is a tool for planning, managing and policy development on natural resources as well as disaster mitigation. Ocean & Resources Engineering focus area exposes the students to exploitation of ocean resources, while the Gem & Jewellery focus area covers areas of jewellery design, jewellery production technology and jewellery production management. The newly introduce Petroleum Engineering focus area will cover the areas in petroleum exploration, drilling, and production.