Tree Protests Block Indian Diamond Mine

By John Jeffay / January 01, 2023 / / Article Link

(IDEX Online) - Plans to develop the huge Bunder diamond mine in India, with a potential yield of 34m carats, are facing opposition from environmental groups.Local residents claim the revival of mining activity at Buxwaha, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, will destroy forest land, cost jobs, displace tribal populations and damage the environment.Rio Tinto leased the site from the state government in 2012 but walked away from the deal in 2017, despite securing environmental clearances.Essel Mining and Industries Limited (EMIL), a subsidiary of the Indian multinational conglomerate Aditya Birla group, took its place, following an auction in December 2019, for $3.4bn over the lifetime of the mine.But a source at the company told the business website MoneyControl that it was "virtually impossible" to work at the site, because of the "violent atmosphere".Essel say they'll need to clear 215,000 trees for the mechanized opencast project. EMIL has reportedly told government officials it is being hampered by serious disruptions caused by locals protesting over environmental concerns.Generic pic of forest, India.

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