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Rio Tinto Unveils Inaugural Bunder Diamond Jewelry

Ahluwalia Designs 'Courageous Spirit' Collection

Aug 24, 2012 8:43 AM   By Dilipp S. Nag, Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Rio Tinto on Friday unveiled its inaugural Bunder diamond jewelry collection comprised of ‎diamonds from a production sample out of prospective Bunder mine in Madhya Pradesh, India.‎

‎“I am delighted that seven years after our initial discovery, we can showcase these exquisite ‎pieces of jewelry that provide a window into the enormous potential of the gems contained in the ‎Bunder deposit,” said Nik Senapati, the managing director of Rio Tinto India.reena ahluwalia jewelry‎ 

The jewelry (pictured) titled ''Courageous Spirit'' features a necklace and a set of complementary ‎earrings, incorporating 25.34 carats of polished diamonds and 2.8 carats of rough, all sourced at ‎the Bunder project. The designs include a 5.04-carat round brilliant cut white diamond and a 5.02-carat round brilliant cut cognac diamond.‎

The Bunder mine is expected to launch commercial production in 2016 and is projected to have ‎annual production of 2 million to 3 million carats a year.

Bruce Cox, the managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds, said, “The Bunder project presents enormous ‎opportunities not only for the Madhya Pradesh region, but for the broader Indian diamond ‎industry as well, with Rio Tinto presenting a unique opportunity for India to mine, manufacture ‎and market its own diamonds.” Cox added that the project could create 10,000 jobs throughout India’s diamond industry. 

‎Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh,  ‎stressed that his government is ready to provide all the resources and incentives to help ‎companies establish cutting and polishing factories in Madhya Pradesh. The government is also ‎developing a gems and jewelry park in the state capital cahluwalia bunder diamondsity, Indore.‎

The collection was created by Toronto-based designer  Reena Ahluwalia and will be showcased at a number of events ‎throughout the second half of 2012.‎ Rio Tinto partnered with Venus Jewel and Mahendra Brothers to cut and polish the stones.

Rio Tinto discovered the Bunder diamond project in 2004. The project has an inferred mineral resource of ‎‎37 million tonnes, containing 27.4 million carats. The company is currently working on the mine ‎plan, environmental and forestry approvals required for executing a mining lease. Rio Tinto has ‎budgeted to invest $500 million to fully develop the mine.‎
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Tags: Bunder Project, diamonds, Dilipp S. Nag, Avi Krawitz, India, Rapaport, Rio Tinto
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