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Massive diamond found in Botswana could be 3rd largest in the world

The high-quality gemstone weighing 1,098.3 carats was unearthed earlier this month in the Jwaneng mine.
Credit: Botswana Government

GABORONE, Botswana β€” A huge diamond weighing more than 1,000 carats, which could be the third-largest mined in history, has been discovered in the southern African country of Botswana.

The high-quality gemstone weighing 1,098.3 carats was unearthed earlier this month in the Jwaneng mine owned by Debswana, the mining company jointly owned by the Botswanan government and the De Beers Group. 

Debswana’s acting managing director Lynette Armstrong said it is the largest gem-quality diamond found in Debswana’s mines. 

The Botswana government tweeted Wednesday saying, President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Debswana's recent 1,098.3 carat diamond discovery.

Minerals minister Lefoko Moagi said the yet-to-be-named stone measures 73mm long, 52mm wide and 27mm thick, according to Reuters.

It is believed to be the third-largest in the world, behind the 3,106-carat Cullinan stone recovered in South Africa in 1905 and the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona unearthed by Lucara Diamonds in Botswana in 2015, according to Debswana.

Diamonds were discovered in Botswana in 1967 and Debswana was formed in 1969. The big diamond is good news for Botswana’s beleaguered economy which has experienced a significant downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Diamonds account for about two-thirds of Botswana's export earnings.

According to the company's website, Debswana Diamond Company is one of the world's leading diamond producers by value and volume. It adds that the government receives as much as 80% of the income from Debswana's sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.

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