Sierra Leone pastor finds 706-carat diamond
ZAYNA SAADEH, Muslim immigrant
MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017 FREETOWN: A pastor working in the mines of eastern Sierra Leone has unearthed a 706-carat diamond, a discovery that experts said on Thursday could be the 10th largest stone ever found.
It was extracted by Emmanuel Momoh, one of thousands who seek their fortunes in the informal mining sector that dominates the diamond-rich Kono region.
As a self-employed miner with a government permit, Momoh is entitled to the proceeds of any future sale, except four per cent the government takes for valuation and export, plus an undetermined level of income tax.
The diamond was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday before being locked in the central bank vault here. It awaits an official valuation under the Kimberley Process, which certifies diamonds as “conflictfree”.
United States-based diamond expert Paul Zimnisky said the stone could rank “between the 10th and 15th largest gem-diamonds ever recovered”. AFP
The gemstone was discovered in the diamond-rich Kono region of eastern Sierra Leone.