Prospecting licence for diamond mining to RIL subsidiary

Prospecting licence for diamond mining to RIL subsidiary

Following the licence the company will prospect over an area of 1,800 square km spread over the Rewa, Sidhi and Satna districts in Madhya Pradesh, an official release said here on Saturday.

RIL plans to pump in about Rs 1,000 crore in the prospecting work and it is the second private sector company to venture into diamond prospecting in Madhya Pradesh after Australian mining major, Rio Tinto. On Friday, Madhya Pradesh Mining Director R K Sharma handed over the prospecting licence for diamond to RIL CGM G K Mohapatra in Bhopal.

Besides diamond, the prospecting licence also includes permission to mine for other minerals like gold, copper, lead, zinc and silver. The licences have been issued in two parts, one for an area of 1,084 square km and another for an area of 735 square kms in the three districts.

RIL already has a mining licence for coal bed methane in Shahdol and Anuppur districts of Madhya Pradesh. The prospecting work could provide an economic fillip to the backward Bundelkhand region.

Nearly 500 persons would be directly engaged in prospecting while about 2,000 would be indirectly gaining from the project. The prospecting would be carried out through airborne geophysical surveys, regional mapping, stream sediment gravel, soil loam sampling and drilling, if required.

Rewa, Sidhi and Satna districts, the closest being 550 km from the state capital, have a sizeable forest area. The Mineral Resources Department has informed the Union Ministry of Mines that the company, as per an undertaking shall not violate the Indian Forest Act and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. Reliance would also share information with the Department of Atomic Energy if radiometric instruments are used during prospecting, the release said.