Four years from now, the Madhya Pradesh government is likely to earn around Rs 1,000 crore as royalty through production of white diamonds from its Bunder mine.
“The ongoing trial run of diamond mining operations by Rio Tinto Explorations India Private Ltd in Bunder, Bakswaha development block in Chattarpur district, appears to be successful.
The government expects nearly Rs 1,000 crore as royalty. But royalty prices may increase or may go down depending on the exploration and production of diamonds from the mine,” chief minister (CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan told MAIL TODAY . The Bunder project is expected to catapult Madhya Pradesh to the top ten diamond- producing regions of the world. The Bunder mine has the potential to become the country’s largest diamond mine possibly producing between two and three million carats per year. In Bunder, the Australian company Rio Tinto has identified a diamond resource seven times richer than the Panna mine, which is also located in Madhya Pradesh, with a production rate likely to be at least 20 times greater.
“ Seeing high investment potential in diamond cutting and polishing, we are planning to shift the proposed Gems Jewellery Park from Indore to Chhatarpur district somewhere close to the famous Khajuraho temples, a world heritage UNESCO site,” Chouhan further said.
The Bunder project presents enormous opportunities not only for the state but for the diamond industry as well, the CM added.
According to him, white diamonds of Madhya Pradesh are “ now glittering all around the world”. The incorporation of Rio Tinto into the Bunder project will generate over 400 direct and 800- 1,000 indirect jobs.
Currently, 70 per cent workers engaged in the exploration being done by Rio Tinto are from Madhya Pradesh. But with the shifting of the Gems Jewellery Park, more employment opportunities will be generated, Chouhan further added.
Nik Senapati, managing director, Rio Tinto India, said, “ I am delighted that seven years after our initial discovery, we can showcase these exquisite pieces of jewellery, which provide a window into the enormous potential of gems contained in the Bunder deposit.” In the last eight years, the state’s revenue from mining increased fivefold— from ` 624 crore in 2003- 04 to ` 3,100 crore in 2012. An estimated ` 2,200 crore will be invested in developing the world- class Bunder diamond mine.
DRAWING A NEW ROAD MAP
Total investment required to develop a mine under the Bunder project is Rs 384 crore
Expected total investment is likely to be Rs 2,200 crore
Expected annual revenue to be around Rs 600- Rs 1,200 crore
Current workforce: 400 approximately, average 237 daily
Expected construction workforce: Rs 800- 1,200
Expected mining & operation workforce: direct: 400, indirect: 800- 1000 ( service providers)Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2012. MTNPL. All rights reserved.