Rio Tinto announced that it has lodged mining lease applications for its Bunder diamond project in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, India.
Nik Senapati, managing director of Rio Tinto in India, said the company has spent more than $25 million over the last six years on diamond exploration and evaluation in India, and the company is excited about the prospects for the Bunder project.
“Diamonds are a significant part of the history of India and an important product for Rio Tinto,” he said. “The application for mining leases is confirmation of our commitment to both mining in India and the global diamond industry.”
Rio Tinto has diamond-exploration activities on six continents, including projects in Canada, India, southern and western Africa, Brazil, Russia and Australia.
The company produces about 16 percent of the world’s rough diamonds by volume, and 8 percent by value.