Rio Tinto had been developing a diamond mining project in Madhya Pradesh for a decade when in 2017 it hastily abandoned the project. We analyse this counterintuitive exit through an ethnographic approach nested within a qualitative case study framework. We argue that the exit was caused by multi-scalar politics. Local protests over livelihood and labour issues â€“pre-emptively rearticulated by regional civil society groups through an ecological â€˜framingâ€™â€“led to litigation. The national forest bureaucracy posed regulatory hurdles, and a change in the national political regime in 2014 brought to power a party that leveraged national capital of a certain variety, which weakened Rio Tintoâ€™s political position. Lastly, a slump in the global diamond market created economic uncertainties, finally leading to its exit. It has not, however, deterred the government from facilitating investment by Indian mega-corporate houses in mining diamonds, once again ignoring local dissent. Under the current regime in India, the space for activism is increasingly restricted, and that restriction, we contend, can lead to the disarray in strategising alliances and goals between ecological and social justice concerns.