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Rio Tinto Supplies First Bunder Rough to Indian Diamantaires

Apr 3, 2012 8:27 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Rio Tinto Diamonds has supplied rough diamonds from its Bunder project in India to local ‎diamantaires as part of a program to better understand the potential for future ‎commercial production at the mine.‎

‎“Indian diamantaires are best placed to unlock the potential of the Bunder diamonds and ‎the cutting and polishing tests and jewelry manufacturing process will provide us with ‎vital information for the ongoing evaluation of the Bunder project,” said Bruce Cox, the ‎managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds.‎

Rio Tinto will track the cutting and polishing, design and manufacture of the gems until ‎they are presented in the first collection of Bunder diamond jewelry, which will be ‎displayed at the Indian International Jewellery Show in Mumbai in August. ‎

The diamonds were presented to the selected diamantaires at a private event in Bhopal in ‎the presence of Shri Rajendra Shukla, the mines minister of Madhya Pradesh, and Shri ‎Jitendra Singh Bundela, a member of Parliament.‎

Rio Tinto recently received a nod to go ahead with the Bunder project and is now working on a mine plan and the environmental approvals required to receive the ‎lease. The proposed mine has an inferred resource containing 27.4 million carats of ‎diamonds. The mine is being developed with an estimated investment of about $430 ‎million (INR 22 billion) and more than $60 million (INR 3 billion) has been spent to date, ‎Rio Tinto reported.‎

This past week, Rio Tinto announced that it is considering options for its diamond business, including the possible sale of the assets,  as the ‎sector does not fit its strategy to focus on “large, long-life, expandable” assets.‎
Tags: Avi Krawitz, Bunder Project, diamonds, Rapaport, Rio Tinto
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