Africa’s leading diamond producer, Botswana has claimed to have discovered the world’s third-largest diamond. The country’s diamond firm Debswana said on Wednesday, 16 June that it had unearthed a 1,098-carat stone that is described as the third-largest of its kind in the world.
The stone found on June 1, was discovered from Jwaneng mine’s South Kimberlite pipe and was shown to President Mokgweetsi Masisi in the country’s capital city, Gaborone.
The yet-to-be-named stone, which measures 73mm long, 52mm wide, and 27mm thick is also the biggest stone of gem quality to be found in the history of Debswana
Debswana Managing Director Lynette Armstrong the stone is believed to be the third-largest gem-quality find in the world.
The “rare and extraordinary stone… means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana. It brings hope to the nation that is struggling.”
The Botswana government also said the stone is also the biggest stone of gem quality to be recovered in the history of the company, a joint venture between the government and global diamond giant De Beers.
𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐈𝐒𝐈 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐒 𝐃𝐄𝐁𝐒𝐖𝐀𝐍𝐀 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐋𝐀𝐑𝐆𝐄𝐒𝐓 𝐃𝐈𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐘
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Debswana’s recent 1,098.3 carat diamond discovery. pic.twitter.com/m2eR40KwFN
— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) June 16, 2021
Minerals Minister Lefoko Moagi said the discovery of the stone could not have come at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.
Production at the company fell 29 percent in 2020 to 16.6m carats while sales fell 30 percent to $2.1bn as the pandemic impacted both production and demand.
President Masisi said as is the norm, proceeds from the diamond will be used to advance national development in the country. The government receives as much as 80 percent of the income from Debswana’s sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.