• David Sanmi

Botswana produces the third largest diamond stone ever found, weighs 1098 carat

President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana admires Debswana’s find. Photograph: Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP/Getty Images

A big diamond that weighs 1,098 carat stone has been discovered in a Botswana mine. It is the third largest find in the world.

The mine where it was discovered is operated by a firm named Debswana. The precious stone was presented to the country’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, by Debswana’s acting managing director, Lynette Armstrong.

The stone measures 73 mm long, 52 mm wide and 27 mm thick. It has not been named yet.

Credits for the find go to Kefentse Oraken and Phodiso Selaledi, who were the first to sight it on the 1st of June.

“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 rare and extraordinary stone … means so much in the context of diamonds and Botswana. It brings hope to a nation that is struggling.”

Armstrong hopes to find bigger stones as her company has started using a modern, state of the art diamond pilot plant.

Courtesy of Reuters

Other record holders

The largest ever diamond stone, named the Cullinan, was found in South Africa and weighs 3,106 carat. The 2nd heaviest was found in Botswana in 2015, named Lasedi La Rona and weighs 1,109 carat.

The most recent heaviest find in the mine was in 1993 and it weighed 446 carats.

About Debswana

Debswana is jointly owned by De Beers Group and the government of Botswana. The government gets 80 percent of revenues from the sales of the precious stones. It was formed in 1969, after diamonds were found in the country in 1967.

Output fell 29 percent in 2020 for Debswana to 16.6 million carats. Total value of the sales of the stones fell 30 percent to 2.1 billion dollars, due to the effect of the pandemic on both production and demand.

For the year 2021, Debswana wants to drive output up by 38 percent to 23 million carats. Mining operations and sales of diamonds are gradually returning to normal as travel restrictions are being lifted.

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