NMDC to invite bids for its biggest 34.37 carat diamond

NMDC to invite bids for its biggest 34.37 carat diamond

New Delhi: Mineral giant NMDC will invite bids for its prized possession -- a 34.37 carat diamond -- the biggest ever gem produced from its Panna mines in Madhya Pradesh that it expects could yield as high as up to Rs5 crore.

“Yes, we will invite tenders for the biggest ever diamond produced in our Panna Mines very soon and this could be a global tender as well," NMDC chairman Rana Som told PTI.

Along with the pear-shaped white good quality diamond, the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is also planning to invite tenders for about 40 other diamonds, weighing above 5 carats and below 30 carat each, the value of which are still to be evaluated.

The modalities and details for tender of 34.37 carat diamond will be finalized soon after we auction 9,700 carats of rough diamonds this week in Mumbai, he said.

The 34.37 carat jewel, which was recovered from a pit on 30 June from the company’s Panna mines will not be placed in auction in Mumbai, scheduled for 16-17 September, along with other big size diamonds, said another senior official.

Earlier, the mines had produced a 32 carat diamond in 2005 and a 30.30 carat diamond in 2003, which were sold for about Rs1 crore each.

“We are hopeful to raise about Rs5 crore from auction of at least 60% of the 9,700 carats of rough diamonds, which will be exhibited for merchants from September 13 to 15," the official said.

The diamonds that will be auctioned will be less than 5 carats, mostly weighing about 2-2.5 carats each, he said.

The Panna mines at Majhgaon are the Asia’s biggest mechanized diamond mines and its diamonds are rated next to those produced from South African mines.

The mining operations, which closed here in 2005 in want of forest clearance and approvals from the adjoining wildlife sanctuary, resumed in August last year after getting a conditional nod from the Supreme Court.

The court asked the miner to pay Rs10.69 crore as net present value (NPV) to the state government, which in June 2009, gave the green signal to resume mining activities at the site.

The company produced about 17,000 carats last fiscal against a target of 35,000 carats. The Panna mines have an estimated reserves of 12 lakh carats of diamond.