Two major resources companies are considering bidding for the Bunder diamond mine in India, after Rio Tinto offloaded the project earlier this year, Reuters reported.
Adani Group, an India-based conglomerate, and Vedanta Resources, a London-headquartered group focused on Indian assets, have sent teams to visit the site in recent months, the report said Thursday, citing three unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The deposit is located in the Madhya Pradesh state. Rio Tinto walked away from the project last year to cut costs, and in February announced it would gift the asset to the regional government.
Authorities in Madhya Pradesh, located in the center of India, are likely to invite bids for the right to explore the Bunder mine in the first week of November, Reuters said, citing Manohar Lal Dubey, the state’s most senior government official for mineral resources.
The sale will only include the section of the deposit that Rio Tinto has already explored and established to contain diamonds. An auction would take place about 40 days after the government publishes a notice seeking bids, Reuters cited the official as saying.
Bunder contains 32 million carats of rough diamonds, the official said.
Spokespersons for Adani and Vedanta were not immediately available for comment outside of working hours Sunday.