Bhopal, Jun 25: Multinational company Rio Tinto has announced that it will soon launch the Bandar Diamond Project in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur district after obtaining two mining leases.
Company sources said thE prospecting began in 2002 with the obtaining of a license aS diamonds were found in the area in 2006. Mining is expected to yield two to three million carats annually and that would be over 20 times the output of this state's Panna diamond mine.
The company would set up a dense media separation plant in the minING area and haD set a target of selling about Rs 500 crore worth of diamonds annually from the Project's output. The state is likely to get about Rs 50 cr as royalty every year besides taxes.
At present, about 150 people are working on the Project and 90 per cent of them are from surrounding villages. The workforce's number is expected to cross 400 later. Rio Tinto haD spent Rs 75 cr on the Project so far and plans to pump in about Rs 135 cr more.