03 February, 2014
Rio Tinto today highlighted its ongoing commitment to improving community health in India with a donation to fund a new ward in the Chhatarpur district hospital in Madhya Pradesh, home to Rio Tinto’s developing Bunder project.
A contribution of Rs.30 lakh (US$50,000) was handed over to the Honourable Collector, Mr Masood Akhtar, by the Bunder project’s Director of external affairs, Col Kamal Kant, in the presence of the Honourable Minister for Healthcare in Madhya Pradesh, Dr Narottam Mishra.
“We are delighted to contribute to improving the health care facilities in the Chhatarpur district and we see it complementing our existing community health initiatives in the region.” said Col Kamal Kant.
The Rio Tinto contribution will fully fund the construction of a 215 square metre ward of the Chhatarpur district hospital, providing much needed hospital beds in this under resourced region of Madhya Pradesh.
Since establishing a presence in Madhya Pradesh in 2004 Rio Tinto has been interacting with the communities to provide better access to health care information and resources.
Literacy rates are low and therefore health education and awareness requires innovative programmes and strong relationships with local community groups. To date Rio Tinto’s initiatives have involved providing free health clinics and mobile medical camps, together with mother and child nutrition programs in the local villages to address high rates of child malnutrition.
Rio Tinto is also continuing its efforts to eradicate communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis that pose a significant community health threat. Sponsoring innovative programs utilising song, street theatre and radio programmes have been implemented to assist in the education and awareness of these potentially fatal diseases.
About the Bunder diamond project
The Bunder diamond project was discovered in 2004 by Rio Tinto and in 2010 a State Support Agreement was signed with Government of Madhya Pradesh as an endorsement of the mutual commitment to the development of the project. The Government of Madhya Pradesh gave in principle approval to the issue of a mining lease for the Bunder project via a “Letter of Intent” in January 2012. Mine plan approval was obtained in July 2013 and Rio Tinto is now working on the environmental and forestry approvals required to execute a Mining Lease. Once developed the Bunder diamond mine is expected to place Madhya Pradesh in the top ten diamond producing regions of the world. www.riotintoindia.com
About Rio Tinto Diamonds
Rio Tinto is one of the world’s major diamond producers through its 100 per cent control of the Argyle mine in Australia, 60 per cent of the Diavik mine in Canada, a 78 per cent interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe. These three mines allow Rio Tinto to produce diamonds for all market segments. Rio Tinto’s share of the production from its three operating mines is sold through its Diamonds Sales and Marketing office in Antwerp,
Belgium with representative offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and New York. Rio Tinto Diamonds is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, a founding member of Responsible Jewellery Council and the first mining company to be certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council. Website: www.riotintodiamonds.com