Africa’s largest producer of diamonds Botswana has discovered what might be the world’s third largest diamond.
The diamond firm Debswana has announced the discovered the 1,098-carat stone that it described as the third largest of its kind in the world.
The company’s acting managing director, Lynette Armstrong, presented the stone, which was found on 1 June, to the country’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on Wednesday 16th June 2021.
It is estimated to be the third largest in the word following after a 3,106-carat Cullinan found in South Africa in 1905 and the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona discovere in Botswana again in 2015.
“This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation,” Armstrong said.
“From our preliminary analysis it could be the world’s third largest gem-quality stone. We are yet to make a decision on whether to sell it through the De Beers channel or through the state owned Okavango Diamond Company.”
The rock comes as a sign of hope for the nation that is struggling.
Botswana’s Minerals Minister, Lefoko Moagi, said it’s discovery could not have come at a better time as the state had struggled with diamond sales through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stone is yet to be named but it measures 73 by 52 by 27mm.
Debswana is a joint venture between South Africa’s De Beers and the Botswanan government which received as much as 80% of the income from sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.
Production at Debswana fell by 29% in 2020 to 16.6m carats and sales fell by 30% to $2.1bn as the pandemic affected production and demand.
Debswana plans to increase output by as much as 38% to pre-pandemic levels of 23m carats in 2021 as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of jewellers.
Source: The Guardian,