AMARAVATI: The Department of Mining will soon call for tenders for diamond exploration in Upparapalle, YSR Kadapa District in Andhra Pradesh. The Geographical Survey of India (GSI) recently confirmed there were diamonds in the Upparapalle area and submitted a report to the State government regarding the same. A preliminary survey (G-4) shows the availability of diamonds in that area in Kadapa. Earlier the Center stated that it would not allow mining based on the G-4 survey. It recently amended the MNDR (Mines and Minerals, Development and Regulation) Act to allow leasing of mines as per the G-4 survey to increase revenue.
The Mining department previously stated that there were diamonds available in the area, but the Centre had levied sanctions on the extraction of diamonds. The recent changes and the amendment has improved the possibilities for diamond extraction and the State government is now making arrangements to call for tenders for exploration of these mines.
The mines will be auctioned and the composite lease will be issued based on the G-4 survey. However, those who bag the tenders will not have the opportunity to do mining right away. Further G-3, G-2, and G-1 level surveys are required to be conducted to know at what level the ores are available in those blocks. These surveys will be conducted at the expense of the company and they will be given two to five years for these surveys. The composite lease given to them will then be converted into a regular lease. Preliminary estimates put the availability of diamonds within a radius of 37.65 sq km in the Upparapalle area. Complete information about the availability of diamonds is likely to be available once the leasing company conducts a full range of surveys.
In this context, the Department of Mining is in the process of preparing to call for tenders and has sent reports to the government for approval. Mining officials stated that the tenders would be called soon after approval from the government is received.
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