(News) Rio Tinto applies for diamond mining in Bundelkhand

NEWS : Rio Tinto applies for diamond mining in Bundelkhand

The UK-based Rio Tinto on Monday said it has applied for mining lease for its Bunder diamond project in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Rio Tinto also announced the exploration target for diamond mineralisation at the Bunder project of 40-70 million tonnes at a grade of between 0.3 and 0.7 carats per tonne. The targeted diamond grades are at least three times greater than the grade of the Panna mine, India's only other hard rock diamond mine.

The original discovery was made as part of a regional exploration reconnaissance in 2004. A Prospecting License was executed in September 2006, which allowed exploration activities to continue, and an order of magnitude study was commenced to evaluate the economic viability of the eight diamondiferous lamproites. The results of this are expected by the end of Q3 2008.

Rio Tinto India managing director Nik Senapati said in a statement, "We have spent more than Rs100 crore (25 million dollars) over the last six years on diamond exploration and evaluation in India, and remain excited about the prospects for the Bunder project. The application for mining leases is confirmation of our commitment to both mining in India and the global diamond industry."

Currently, Rio Tinto processes the majority of its diamonds in India and independently Markets the diamond productions from its Australian, Canadian and African mines, with a well established presence in all the major diamond centres of the world.

Work on the Bunder diamond project to date includes mapping, 48 drill-holes and five surface bulk samples. Drilling is continuing and further surface bulk sampling to support diamond valuation is underway.

Courtesy : financialexpress.com