India’s Supreme Court-monitored committee has asked the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) to prepare a closure plan for the diamond mine in India’s Madhya Pradesh Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) by the end of September 2019 so that it can be shut by June 2020.
However, NMDC-- a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) -- has instead gone ahead and is seeking an extension of the mining lease till 2035, according to media reports.
NMDC officials have asserted that since not all diamonds have been excavated, the lease for mining in the Majhgawan mine in the PTR should be extended up to 2035. The PTR is spread over an area of 54,200 hectares.
In 2005, the Madhya Pradesh State wildlife protection board had given mining clearance to NMDC, which is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel, with the condition that it should phase out its operations by 2020. Majhgawan is the only diamond mine in India.
Image credit: Panna Tiger Reserve