Rio Tinto Relinquishes Control of Bunder Diamond Project in MP
The mining major had in 2016 wished to disassociate itself from the project as part of its efforts to ‘conserve cash and cutting costs’. After recovering diamond reserves in Bunder in the year 2004, the Australian company had inked an MoU with Madhya Pradesh government for the development of the project, which according to the company estimates required investment of Rs 2,200 crore.
Chhatarpur: Multinational mining giant Rio Tinto has decided to hand over the Bunder diamond project in Chhatarpur district to the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
A communique from the company said, “In August 2016, Rio Tinto announced it would not proceed with the development of Bunder due to commercial considerations and would be seeking to close all project infrastructure. Under a Government of Madhya Pradesh order signed in January 2017, the Government will accept ownership and take on responsibility for the Bunder assets.”
The inventory of assets and associated infrastructure handed over to the government comprises all land, plant, equipment and vehicles at the Bunder project site. The inventory will also include diamond samples recovered during exploration, the communique added further.
Rio Tinto Copper and Diamond's chief executive Arnaud Soirat said, “Our exit from Bunder is the latest example of Rio Tinto streamlining its asset portfolio. It simplifies our business, allowing us to focus on our world-class assets.”
The mining major had in 2016 wished to disassociate itself from the project as part of its efforts to ‘conserve cash and cutting costs’.
After recovering diamond reserves in Bunder in the year 2004, the Australian company had inked an MoU with Madhya Pradesh government for the development of the project, which according to the company estimates required investment of Rs 2,200 crore.
Once completed, the project was expected to put Madhya Pradesh on top of the diamond production in the region.
The project also remained an eyesore for environment lovers. “The project endangered the corridor between Panna tiger reserve and Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary. It also had possible adverse impact on the Buxwaha buffer zone of the tiger reserve,” said environment enthusiast Ajay Dubey who said that the rich forest area should remain untouched.
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