Sierra Leone announces discovery of largest diamond since 1972
Sierra Leone has announced the discovery of 706 carats of diamond, which officials say is the largest diamond discovery in the country in over 40 years.
The diamond was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday, a day after it was discovered by an artisanal miner in the eastern diamond rich Kono District.
It is ranked the third largest diamond ever discovered in the country.
The largest diamond in record to have been discovered in the country in 1972 was also from Kono and it weighed 968.9 carats and was sold for US$2.5m.
In a brief ceremony at the State House in Freetown, President Koroma assured the owners of the latest find of fair play in the sale of the gemstone.
He said the precious stone would be sold in the country and in a transparent manner.
“I believe a diamond like this should be publicly sold in the country so that the value will be known, who bought it and what the owners get from it,” he said, adding: “It will be a terrible thing if anyone is dissatisfied.”
The President also thanked the owners of the diamond for not smuggling it out of the country.