Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Christian pastor finds massive diamond worth millions of dollars

Sierra Leone Diamonds Pastor in Sierra Leone finds 709-carat diamond in biggest discovery since 1971
Heather Davidson | 19 March, 2017, 00:06

A Christian pastor working in a Sierra Leone mine has found a 706-carat diamond, which could be the tenth largest ever found.

Even though diamonds can be found in about a quarter of Sierra Leone, the country of about six million people is one of the world's five poorest nations, according to the United Nations.

He handed it over to President Ernest Bai Koroma, who thanked him for not smuggling it out of the country.

He uncovered the diamond in Sierra Leone's Kono district.

The stone, a photograph of which was posted on the president's official website, is being stored in the country's central bank, government sources said.

"Under my presidency the process will be transparent and I am sure everyone will be satisfied", he said.

The present government is taking a firm line against illicit diamond trading.

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Freelance or artisanal miners are common in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich areas and according to Mathew Nyaungwa from Rough and Polished diamond analysts, the discovered diamond weighing 706 carats in Konom is the 13th largest diamond ever to be found.

Under Sierra Leone law, Pastor Momoh is entitled to all but four percent of the proceeds of the future sale, which the government will keep for evaluation and export but it has yet to be valued.

The government plans to sell it to the highest bidder, the President said. Even with a blemish, the diamond could easily be worth millions.

The largest diamond found in a century was found in mine in Botswana past year.

The death toll from Sierra Leone's civil war is estimated at 120,000.

The "Star of Sierra Leone" is the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered on earth.

In May of 2016, Lucara, a diamond-mining fund sold an 813-carat diamond for a whopping $63 million.

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