Botswana diamond could be world’s third largest

Botswana diamond could be world's third largest
President Mokgweetsi Masisi was shown the gem at a ceremony in the capital, Gaborone. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: A diamond – weighing 1,098 carats – believed to be the third-largest ever found has been showcased in Botswana.

The stone was shown to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, two weeks after the diamond firm, Debswana, unearthed it.

The huge stone is only slightly less heavy than the world’s second-largest, which was also found in Botswana in 2015.

Botswana is the largest producer of diamonds in Africa.

Lynette Armstrong, Debswana Diamond Company’s acting managing director, said: “This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation.”

He added: “From our preliminary analysis it could be the world’s third largest gem quality stone.”

Debswana is a joint venture between global giant De Beers and the government and up to 80% of the income from sales goes to state coffers through dividends, royalties and taxes.

Lefoko Moagi, Botswana’s Minerals Minister, said the latest find could not have come at a better time for Botswana after the pandemic caused sales of these valuable stones to slump last year.

The biggest diamond ever discovered was the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond found in South Africa in 1905 and the second largest is the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona found in Botswana in 2015.

The newly discovered gem, which was found at the Jwaneng mine, is yet to be named.

Ms Armstrong said a decision had not yet been taken on whether to sell the “rare and extraordinary stone” through the state owned Okavango Diamond Company or through De Beers.

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