De Beers unveils mining blueprint

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Jamshedpur
  • Published 12.03.04
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Jamshedpur, March 12: Alan Campbell, the De Beers head in India, and his team met chief minister Arjun Munda at his residence in Ranchi today to apprise him of the company’s forthcoming mining activities in the state.

During the two-hour long discussions, the De Beer officials made an audio-visual presentation highlighting its mining activity and aerial survey work for diamond mining in different parts of the world and India.

The company has agreed to invest about Rs 50 crore in the aerial survey work to identify diamond mines in the state. Despite the official nod from the state mining department, the De Beers officials requested the chief minister for the approval of the union mines department under section 5 (1) of Mines and Minerals Development Regulation Act (MMDRA).

State director of mines I. D. Paswan, who was present at the meeting, told The Telegraph that the aerial survey is expected to commence within the next four months. It would be conducted in Gumla, Lohardagga, Simdega and some parts of Ranchi, which have possibilities of diamond deposits.

Officials of Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation (JSMDC) said the government is keen to develop minerals in the state and diamond mining is a further step in this direction. De Beers, a premier diamond company, approached the state government following a tender floated for diamond mining.

Officials said the South African company is engaged in diamond mining in at least seven Indian states, including Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Paswan said the actual mining would begin only after the aerial survey is completed.

“There are bright chances of diamond deposit in Gumla and Lohardagga due to its proximity with the Chhattisgarh belt, which has a good deposit of diamond,” he said.