Botswana unearths world’s third largest diamond
Botswana has unearthed a 1,098 carat diamond believed to be the world’s third largest gem-quality stone ever to be mined.
According to Reuters, the stone was discovered in South African Country and was announced through a joint venture between Anglo American’s De Beers and the government of Botswana.
“This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation,” said Debswana Diamond Company’s acting managing director Lynette Armstrong who presented it to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
He added that, “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.”
Minerals minister Lefoko Moagi said the discovery of the yet-to-be named stone, which measures 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick, could not have come at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.
The government receives as much as 80 percent of the income from Debswana’s sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.
Reuters reports that the production at Debswana fell 29 percent in 2020 to 16.6 million carats while sales fell 30 percent to US$2.1 billion as the pandemic impacted both production and demand.
In 2021, Debswana plans to increase output by as much as 38% to pre-pandemic levels of 23 million carats as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of jewellers.