Millennium Post

Oz Rio Tinto to launch India invasion with MP diamond unit

The company plans to invest USD 500 million in diamond mining project in Madhya Pradesh, Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh told reporters on the sidelines of a CII conference here.

He said the company is waiting for environment approvals from the government for the project.
Walsh said he had talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the planned USD 500 million investment in Bunder diamond mine in Madhya Pradesh.

“We are waiting for approvals, forestry and environment approvals, which I am hopeful will come through in the near term,” he said.

Yesterday also, Walsh had said at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that Rio Tinto would add 30,000 jobs in diamond cutting industry in Gujarat.

Australian trade & Investment Minister Andrew Robb also told reporters, “Rio Tinto is looking at a diamond mine here. They have been here for a long time. They have established their credentials.”
Robb said the project “will employ many thousands”.

The project has been pending for long and Rio Tinto, which has a global diamond exploration portfolio had already secured “in-principle approval to the issue of a mining lease? for the Bunder Diamond project via a Letter of Intent from Madhya Pradesh government.

“The Bunder diamond project was discovered in 2004 by Rio Tinto and in 2010 a State Support Agreement was signed with the Government of Madhya Pradesh as an endorsement of the mutual commitment to the development of the project,” the company has said earlier.

The company has claimed that once developed, the Bunder mine is expected to place Madhya Pradesh in the top ten diamond producing regions of the world.

Rio Tinto has a proven record of world-class diamond exploration success. The most advanced
exploration project is at Bunder in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where Rio Tinto has discovered a cluster of eight diamondiferous pipes.
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