Giant gem caps mine’s ‘amazing week’

A DIAMOND weighing more than 200 grams has been discovered in Botswana.

The 1 111-carat (222.2g) “high-quality” stone is the biggest find in more than a century, according to mining company the Lucara Diamond Corporation. It is also believed to be the second-biggest mined in history.

“The magnificent stone, which originated from the south lobe of Lucara’s Karowe Mine, is the world’s second-largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and the largest ever to be recovered through a modern processing facility,” the Stockholm-listed company said.

Botswana is the world’s second-biggest diamond producer, and Lucara said the gem was the largest recovered in the country.

“The significance of the recovery of a gem-quality stone larger than 1 000 carats, the largest for more than a century . . . cannot be overstated,” Lucara president William Lamb said.

The stone is yet to be evaluated, but commodities and mining analyst Kieron Hodgson said it had “the potential to be one very expensive diamond”.

“Valuation will depend on potential inclusions, how it would behave in cutting, optimal shape as well as final colour,” Hodgson said.

The 3 106-carat Cullinan diamond was found near Pretoria in 1905.

It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in Britain’s crown jewels.

In an “amazing week”, Lucara said an 813-carat stone and a 374carat stone were also found.

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