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Blacklisted Rio Tinto gifted diamond worth Rs 15 lakh to MP govt

Blacklisted diamond company Rio Tinto gifted a diamond worth Rs 15 lakh to Madhya Pradesh government. This was revealed in reply to a question asked by BJP MLA RD Prajapati in the state assembly.

-Team Absolute|Bhopal

Blacklisted diamond company Rio Tinto gifted a diamond worth Rs 15 lakh to Madhya Pradesh government. This was revealed in reply to a question asked by BJP MLA RD Prajapati in the state assembly.

Though the question was raised during budget session, but the government came up with the answer this monsoon session. The answer given by the state government says that Rio Tinto Company during its tenure for prospection found a diamond of 2838.69 carats that was valued at Rs 15 lakh. The company had deposited Rs 65 lakh 10 thousand in advance as royalty for prospecting in that area.

The diamond giant has winded up its operations in the state. Rio Tinto was given prospecting license for diamonds in Bakaswaha area of Chhatarpur district.
Government claimed that if royalty is paid in advance then the mineral found during prospecting is owned by the company. Despite that Rio Tinto donated that diamond to the government.

The Australian diamond giant remained in controversies right from the beginning. The company was denied license earlier during NDA regime with Uma Bharti as minister for mining. Rio Tinto later got entry in Madhya Pradesh and it opened a showroom in Mumbai that was inaugurated by MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Rio Tinto winded up its operations that had promised to invest RS 500 crores in Madhya Pradesh. Rio also came to light when it invited tenders to sell off its properties. Simultaneously it also wrote to government handing over its properties. When successful bidder asked Rio Tinto to hand over the properties, Rio said that the properties could not be transferred as they are government properties. Later the bidding firm lodged FIR in Satna against Rio Tinto where managing director S Vijay Aiyer, director Sidharth Jain, Kamalkant and advisor Kamal Sethi have been named.

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