Rio Tinto to develop $3bn worth of mines in India

Rio Tinto hopes to open a $US2 billion iron ore mine and a $US500 million diamond mine in India.

CEO of the company Sam Walsh revealed the plan overnight at a conference.

Walsh said Rio had been in discussions with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in order to start work on the Bunder diamond mine in Madhya Pradesh, Economic Times reported.

"We are waiting for approvals, forestry and environment approvals, which I am hopeful will come through in the near term. Prime Minister and I have met three times during the past six months and I talked to him about the two major projects and the opportunities," Walsh said. 

Walsh said the diamond mine had the potential to create 30,000 jobs. The mine holds inferred resources of 37 million tonnes, containing 27.4 million carats.

Rio also wants to secure approval for an iron ore mine in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. The company holds a 51 per cent stake in project.

Walsh said talks with Modi had also centred around uranium and coal deals.

Speaking at an investor conference in December, Walsh said Rio’s diamond division held among some of the best assets in the sector.

“When you look at EBITDA margins, the quality and longevity of resources and reserves and potential for expansion and growth, there is no question our world-class assets will generate sustainable returns for decades to come,” Walsh said.


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