The mineral-rich African continent has been home to a range of recoveries for centuries. The mining industry has benefitted immensely from minerals mined in various countries across the continent. Southern African countries have been known to have a range of minerals, with South Africa known for large gold reserves, Botswana its diamonds and most recently, Lesotho also for its diamonds.
In recent news about the country, a large diamond was recovered in one of its mines.
The 910 carat diamond recovered in a Lesotho mine is the fifth largest ever found. The diamond is also the largest one discovered at Letseng Diamond Mine since 2006.
Lesotho, a land-locked country with a population of about 2 million is also home to a 603 carat diamond, discovered at the same mine.
The diamond was found by UK mining company Gem Diamonds and is roughly the size of two golf balls.
“This is a landmark recovery for all Gem Diamonds’ stakeholders, including our employees, shareholders and the Government of Lesotho, our partner in the Letseng mine,” said Chief Executive Officer Clifford Elphick.
The 910 carat diamond is a D colour, Type IIA diamond, which means that there are little to no nitrogen atoms, making it the highest quality diamond.
Its value will be determined by the size and quality of the polished stones that can be cut from it. It’s been estimated that it could be worth up to $40 million.
The recovery of the diamond came at a good time for the mine, which has been facing some financial difficulty recently.
Some of the largest diamonds ever found:
- 3106 carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in 1905. It is currently set in the e Crown Jewels of Britain.
- Lucara’s 1109 carat Lesedi La Rona
- 995 carat Excelsior
- 969 carat Star of Sierra Leone