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In a first since 1998, rough diamonds will be auctioned in Surat

September 18, 2019 16:04 IST

So far, rough diamonds mined from the Panna mines in Madhya Pradesh were auctioned online but displayed only at Panna.

In a first since 1998, rough diamonds mined in India will now be up for display in Surat for auction by state-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NDMC) in association with Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

So far, rough diamonds mined from the Panna mines in Madhya Pradesh were auctioned online but displayed only at Panna.

 

However, now on with the support of GJEPC, for the first time NMDC is now enabling display of rough diamonds from Panna mines at the newly built Surat International Diatrade Centre.

"The auction will be held at our newly built Surat International Diatrade Centre which has state-of-the-art facilities with regards to grading and certification," Dinesh Navadiya, Regional Chairman of GJEPC told Business Standard.

According to Navadiya, going forward, the SIDC would be able to host a greater number of international buyers.

As per market sources, to begin with rough diamonds weighing 24,000 carat in all, valued at about Rs 25 crore will be displayed at Surat between September 24 and September 27 for buyers ahead of an e-auction.

India imported 16.5 million carats of rough diamonds worth $ 15.72 billion in FY2018-19.

Diamonds mined in India are quoted small in quantities.

Sources peg production of rough diamonds by NMDC at about 40,000 carat a year, apart from sales of around 30,000 to 33,000 carat per annum.

NMDC has switched from physical auction to e-auction or online mode since 2015-16, in which display of rough diamonds for every e-auction is conducted first at Panna.

Earlier, NMDC had displayed rough diamonds and physically auctioned them at Surat till 1998.

Meanwhile, the expected sale value would depend upon meeting with NMDC's reserve prices and present market scenario, sources said.

Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Vinay Umarji & T E Narasimhan in Ahmedabad/Chennai
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