Case Study - Bunder Project

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09 December 2011
Case study - Bunder project
Speaker: Stefanie Loader, Project Director, Bunder Project
Location: Goa, India
Stefanie Loader, project director, Rio Tinto Exploration
FICCI Conference on Sustainable Mining

Slide 1 - Title
Good morning and Namaste. It is my honour to participate in this conference on Sustainable Mining.  I thank FICCI and the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the invitation to share our experiences in preparing for sustainable mining at Rio Tinto's Bunder diamond project in Madhya Pradesh, for which I am responsible. I would first like to provide you all with some brief context on Rio Tinto in India, our Bunder project and what sustainable mining means to me. I will then share with you some of the work on the ground that we are doing toward sustainable development in the area which we hope will soon be India's next diamond mine. Slide 2 - Rio Tinto in India

It may surprise many of you that Rio Tinto has been in India since the 1930s. Today we have offices and activities in several places around the country.  We sell many products to India, we buy goods and services from India, and we are exploring opportunities to become a miner and producer of minerals in India. Our most advanced diamond project worldwide is the Bunder diamond project located in the heart of incredible India, near the town of Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh. Slide 3 - Bunder pictures - discovery, resource, processing plant, camp. The Bunder diamond deposits were discovered in 2004 after only two years of exploration in Bundelkhand. Since then we have established an accommodation campus, complete with recreation facilities, and a medical clinic which has grown to a capacity of 140 beds. We conducted an economic viability study, and in 2008, declared an inferred resource of 27 million carats of diamonds and applied for a mining lease to develop this resource into a mining and beneficiation operation. We have conducted extensive drill sampling of the deposit, and environmental, social, engineering and workforce development studies to support the development of a detailed blueprint for the project. In 2009 we established a state-of-the-art sample processing plant with a nameplate capacity of ten tonnes per hour, to process the samples which have been collected.  What I want to do today is to paint a picture of the range and scale of the activities on the ground in the pre-mining phase of our project.  We may not yet have a mining operation, however we are already operating many of the facilities and departments that exist in your mining operations. We have a workforce of over 400, around 280 of whom come from the local area. We have a technical team on-site covering all the key mining-related disciplines of geology; mining; mechanical, electrical and civil engineers; machinery maintenance; environmental scientists; health and safety specialists; community development relations; workforce development and training; and security. Our challenge around sustainable mining is similar to yours, with perhaps one advantage/disadvantage depending on your viewpoint - we are able to set down the foundations for sustainable development which is an advantage, and we are also creating expectations in this pre-mining phase, in other words ....to start as we mean to go on... Slide 4: Four pillars of sustainable development

We have all heard many times about the pillars of sustainable development shown on this slide. What do they mean at the Bunder project? Sustainable development and sustainable mining means: creating jobs, training and development; protecting the physical environment in which we work; caring for and trusting our people; and being open about our activities and listening to those who also care about our activities. Being open and listening means having a constant conversation with our neighbours, near and far. And what do our neighbours say about development and what do they want to see: any guesses? Jobs, water...
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