Rio Tinto lodges mining lease applications for Bunder diamond project in Indiaadmin
Rio Tinto lodged mining lease applications for its Bunder diamond project in India in a move it called a vital step in the development of what could be the first significant world class diamond mine in the country.
Rio Tinto 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.
“We have spent more than 100 Crore rupees ($25 million) over the last six years on diamond exploration and evaluation in India, and remain excited about the prospects for the Bunder project,” said Nik Senapati, managing director of Rio Tinto in India.
Rio Tinto plans to spend around a further $30 million on continued evaluation of the deposit.
The world’s third-largest mining group produces about 16 percent of the world’s rough diamonds by volume and 8 percent by value through its Argyle mine in Australia, its 60 percent interest in the Diavik mine in Canada and a 78 percent stake in the Murowa mine in Africa. Rio Tinto’s share of the production from these three mines was about $1 billion in 2007.