Fours labourers have found an 8.22-carat diamond worth at least ₹40 lakh from a mine in Madhya Pradesh's Panna district after looking for the gems for more than a decade, news agency PTI reported citing an official. Panna collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra told reporters that Ratanlal Prajapati and others found the diamond from leased land in the Hirapur Tapariyan area of the district. The diamond will be put up for auction later this month along with other gems, Mishra said.
Officials have said the proceeds from the auction of the raw diamonds would be given to the respective miners after deduction of government royalty and taxes, according to PTI. Officials also said that the auction of the latest precious stone found by the labourers and 139 other diamonds will start from September 21. Local experts say the diamond found by the labourers may fetch up to ₹40 lakh, it reported.
Raghuvir Prajapati, one of the labourers who found the gem, told reporters that they spent the last 15 years quarrying in various mines in their quest to find diamonds. “We leased small mines in different areas for the past 15 years but did not find any diamond. This year, we have been mining on leased land at Hirapur Tapariyan for the past six months and were pleasantly surprised to find a diamond weighing 8.22 carat,” he said.
Raghuvir Prajapati said he and his partners will use the money from the auction of the diamond for providing a better life and education to their children.
PTI cited officials as saying that Panna district, which is more than 380km from the state capital of Bhopal, has reserves estimated to be containing diamonds totalling 12 lakh carats.