Rio Tinto: Diamond mine project in Bundelkhand, India

In Bundelkhand, Madya Pradesh, Rio Tinto plans the exploration of diamonds with what they called the Bunder Project. The diamond deposits were discovered in 2004, and first exploration licensed were granted in 2006. The deposits seemed promising, and Rio Tinto applied for further licenses which were granted in July 2013, when the Bunder Mine Plan was approved. The mine lease of nearly 1,000 hectares is expected for 2015, and commercial production is expected for 2019.[1]

15 villages of tribal people are located around the mining site. At a public meeting with the district council on February 12 they demanded the cancellation of the licenses to Rio Tinto claiming that the company did not provide jobs as promised and that it earned much more than it would spend in the region. Furthermore they claimed that the mining site will destroy the environment at large scale. [2] [3] For the site, trees of the protected forest of Buxwaha have to be cut, and people fear emissions and water shortages.[4]

[1] Rio Tinto India: Bunder. Accessed 18.02.2014

[2] The Free Press Journal (2014): Protest intensifies against Rio Tinto, 10 February; accessed 18.02.2014

[3] The Times of India (2014): Villagers red flag Rio Tinto project, 13 February; accessed 18.02.2014

[4] Hindustan Times (2013): Locals earned little from Rio Tinto´s diamond project, 17 December; accessed 18.02.2014

See also:

The Sydney Morning Herald (2011): Rio´s India diamond fight, 15 April; accessed 18.02.2014

The Scrap Monster (2014): Rio Tinto´s India diamond mine hangs in the balance as protests escalate, 11 February; accessed 18.02.2014

Case location
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Affected topics
  • Environmental and Climate protection
Affected norms and standards Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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