Panna (Madhya Pradesh), Aug 21(ANI): Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday rededicated the Panna Diamond Mine of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NDMC) in Madhya Pradesh.
The mine had remained closed for about four years for environmental reasons.
Speaking in Panna after reopening the mine, Singh said the project was not only crucial for the NMDC and Madhya Pradesh, but also prestigious for the country as it is the only mechanized diamond mine in Asia.
Singh also informed that the production capacity of the mine is one lakh carats per annum.
"With the reopening of the Panna mine, we will be able to meet at least part of the domestic demand of diamonds," he said.
"NMDC is exploring for diamond reserves in Chattarpur District and coal deposits in Shahdole and Umaria Districts. It is in the process of acquiring mining lease for development of coal blocks," he added.
Singh further said that NMDC is making efforts to locate alternate diamond resources in the vicinity of Panna.
The minister also thanked the Madhya Pradesh Government for extending unflinching support for the reopening of the diamond mine.
"With the re-opening of the mine, the economic activity in the Panna region will pick up and Panna township and surrounding areas will one again come alive as a centre of economic activity," said Minister of State for Steel A. Sai Prathap.
"It will also generate both direct and indirect employment for the local population. The local business, which was adversely affected due to shifting of NMDC's workforce in the Diamond mine will also prosper," he added.
He also hoped that the reopening of the mine will give a strong impetus to the economic activity of the entire region. (ANI)