Chhattisgarh to join in diamond hunt

Monday, 29 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Raipur, Nov 29 (IANS) Chhattisgarh will join hands with companies like South Africa's De Beers in prospecting for diamonds in the state.

Initial surveys carried out by the diamond giant De Beers, Admas Prospecting Pvt Ltd and Geo Mysore Services India have found kimberlite rocks which contain large deposits of world-quality diamonds, officials disclosed.

"The government is of the firm view that diamond will be the sector to focus on during the next three and four years which will give an estimated annual revenue of 920 billion and will rise by 40 percent every year," state Industry Minister Amar Agrawal told IANS.

He added that companies hunting for diamonds in Chhattisgarh must collaborate with the State Mining Development Corporation (SMDC).

At the moment, six companies are hunting for diamonds in 12 of Chhattisgarh's 16 districts. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), which has a large industrial complex in Raigarh district, has also placed an urgent proposal for diamond exploration over a 2,500-sq km area in Jashpur district.

De Beers has already completed its survey in a 3,975-sq km area in Kanker, Dhamtari, Durg and Rajnandgaon districts. And Admas Prospecting Pvt Ltd has been concentrating in a 3,000-sq km area in Raipur and Mahasamund districts. It recently informed the government that it has located a two-layer chunk of kimberlite rock.

Similarly, Geo Mysore Services India is scouting in a 1,220-sq km area in Kanker, 500 sq km in Rajnandgaon and 1,475 sq km in Jashpur. Meera Exploration Pvt Ltd has also been allowed to hunt for diamonds in a 481-sq km in Rajnandgaon while Emperor Granite Pvt. Ltd has set its eye on 1,000 sq km in Kanker district.

Even latecomer ACC Rio Tinto Exploration Pvt Ltd has completed a first-phase survey with positive findings in 2,800 sq km in Jashpur, Mahasamund, Dhamtari, Kanker and Raipur districts.

Encouraged by reports of diamond deposits, the government had set up the State Mining Development Corporation (SMDC) earlier this month to carry out diamond exploration and mining in joint ventures.

Source: IANS
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