“This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation,” said Lynette Armstrong, Debswana Diamond Company’s acting managing director about an 1,098 carats diamond recently discovered, believed the third largest ever found on the planet. Debswana is a joint venture between the government and global diamond giant De Beers and up to 80% of the income from sales goes to state coffers through dividends, royalties and taxes. The new discovered stone found at the Jwaneng mine it’s to be named. It was shown to President Mokgweetsi Masisi in a special ceremony. An official government Twitter account wrote that “proceeds from the diamond will be used to advance national development in the country.” Botswana is Africa’s largest producer of diamonds.
Officially opened in 1982, the Jwaneng mine usually yields between 12.5 million and 15 million carats of diamonds a year . Debswana plans to increase output by as much as 38% to pre-pandemic levels of 23m carats in 2021 as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of jewellers. The government has not disclosed an estimate of the not-yet-named stone’s potential worth, but in 2017, the second-largest diamond ever found, Lesedi La Rona, sold for $53 million. The largest known diamond is the “Cullinan”, weighing more than 3,100 carats, unearthed in South Africa in 1905.