Following reports surfacing just over a week ago that Indian resource conglomerates Vedanta (controlled by London-based Indian Anil Agarwal) and Adani (controlled by Gautam Adani) might bid for a $9 billion diamond project in the country that was abandoned by Rio Tinto this year, Reuters is now reporting India’s state-owned miner NMDC Ltd plans to place a $9 billion bid for the diamond project. A source told Reuters that NMDC plans to shortly send a team to Bhopal for talks with state authorities; “We initially wanted the central government to directly give us the mine through nomination but it was turned down,” another of the sources said, adding that the government wanted the mine to be sold via auction due to the large amount of interest.
NMDC already mines diamonds in the neighboring Majhgawan mine at Panna, Madhya Pradesh, where the company has extracted about 1 million carats of diamonds, according to information on the company’s website. The Bunder deposit, which is estimated to hold around 32 million carats of diamonds, was abandoned by global miner Rio Tinto earlier this year. “By Nov. 30, we will be issuing the notice inviting tender,” Manohar Lal Dubey, Madhya Pradesh’s top mineral resources official, told Reuters.
(Image courtesy of Rio Tinto)