A 1,098 carat diamond believed to be the third largest gem-quality stone ever to be mined, has been discovered in Botswana, according to a joint venture between Anglo American’s De Beers and the government.
The stone is 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.
The minerals minister said the discovery of the yet-to-be named stone, which measures 73 millimeters long, 52 millimeters wide and 27 millimeters thick, could not have come at a better time after the COVID-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.
The government receives as much as 80% of the income from Debswana’s sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.
Production at Debswana fell 29% in 2020 to 16.6 million carats while sales fell 30% to 2.1 billion dollars as the pandemic impacted both production and demand.