476-carat gem found

A 709-carat diamond found in Sierra Leone in March, 2017. Sierra Leone said Saturday miners had unearthed a huge 476-carat diamond, eight months the discovery of the so-called ‘Peace Diamond’. Photo: Reuters

FREETOWN: Sierra Leone said yesterday miners had unearthed a huge 476-carat diamond, eight months after an even more valuable find in the country’s diamond-rich east. It appears to be the 29th largest diamond ever found, according to experts, but it is unclear what the hefty stone might be worth. The latest discovery came, as did its predecessor, in the province of Kono, said Sahr Wonday, director general of Sierra Leone’s National Minerals Agency.

For Wonday, the latest find “provides a remarkable indication of the potential of the mineral resources” in the area. He said the company that uncovered the stone, Meya Mining, has won government approval to export it and the diamond is to be sold at international auction. Last month, Sierra Leone announced it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the “blood diamonds” of its past. The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide.

This article was published on 12/11/2017