For Motilal Prajapati, Diwali celebrations have begun almost a month before. A daily wager, Motilal has found a fortune when he dug out one of the biggest diamonds in the history of Panna, Asia’s biggest and only active diamond mine. The diamond mined by him weighed at 42.9 carat, the second heaviest in the history of Panna shallow diamond mines.
Talking to financialexpress.com, the diamond officer of Panna district Santosh Singh said, “The quality of precious diamond being dug out has been valued at over Rs 1.25 crore. The precious gem will be put for auction as per government rules after the Assembly elections.”
The diamond was dug from Patti area in the district. Motilal had taken a plot measuring about 25 square feet on lease at Patti village, about 8 km from the Panna district headquarters, the official said.
A jubilant Motilal, who makes out a living as a menial worker, couldn’t believe his luck when he was told the value of the diamond.
“From my grandfather to myself, my family’s three generations have been taking land on lease for mining. With God’s grace I have found a good value diamond this time,” he said. He hoped that the amount he will get would serve his elderly mother and father and would bring him out of poverty.
As per procedure, the mines are allotted to individuals and they mine for precious gems. Panna has country’s only operational diamond mine. Some other labourers have also found precious gems in the area leased by the state government. Panna district also has shallow mines which fall under the jurisdiction of the Madhya Pradesh government and offered on lease to tenants including families of labourers.
The heaviest gem ever found in Panna weighed 44.55 carat and it was dug up way back in the early 1960s, Singh told financialexpress.com.
National Mineral Development Corporation manages the mines in Panna district under the diamond mining project. The land is provided on lease to prospective miners by the government agency in other mines.