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Another large diamond find for Sierra Leone’s Kono Province

Miners have unearthed a 476-carat diamond in Sierra Leone’s Kono District on Saturday, just eight months after an even more valuable diamond was unearthed in the country’s diamond-rich east.

This is according to Director General of Sierra Leone’s National Minerals Agency, Sahr Wonday.

Wonday said 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, has won government approval to export it and sold at an international auction.

According to Trusco Group Holdings, a subsidiary mining company, Meya Mining uncovered the stone in an area spanning from the Kamara Gbense to the Tankoro Chiefdoms in Kono district.

“Any value indication of the diamond is pure speculation at this stage as the diamond has not been examined and assess by the necessary experts,”‘ said Trusco.

The group noted that two other special diamonds of 19.70 carats and 27.93 carats were discovered on the same day in the Kono District.

Exploring the diamond rich district

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 the county’s past.

The stone, which was unearthed in March by Emmanuel Momoh, an Evangelical pastor who is also one of hundreds of so-called artisanal miners in Kono, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts said.

The state expects to collect 15% of the sale’s proceeds and a 30% income tax.

Sierra Leone had initially looked to sell the diamond at home but the best offer the country received was $7.7 million in April, which the government deemed insufficient.

The Sierra Leone’s government has pledged to be transparent regarding the stone’s sale, mindful of the history of cross-border diamond trafficking that fuelled Sierra Leone’s civil war from 1991-2002.

 

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