Rio Tinto to hand over diamond mine to central Indian state

The Rio Tinto group has decided to hand over a diamond mine to the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where the project is located.

Work at the mining giant's Bunder diamond mine stopped last year when the company announced that it would end the project to cut costs and conserve cash.

Development of the mine would have cost the company around $330 million.

Handing over the mine and equipment to the Madhya Pradesh government would help the state to package the assets if the state decides to auction the mineral rights, Rio Tinto said in a statement Tuesday.

The diamond deposits were discovered by the Australia-based company in 2004. Rio Tinto signed an agreement to develop the mine in 2010.