[PHOTOS] World’s second largest diamond finally has a name
In November 2015, the Lucara Diamond firm discovered a massive 1,111-carat, Type IIa diamond at its Karowe Mine in Botswana. Said to be the largest diamond found in over a century, and second only to the Cullinana diamond, the stone had previously gone unnamed—until now.
Meaning “Our Light” in Setswana, the national language of Botswana, the second biggest diamond in the world is now called “Lesedi La Rona”.
"Lesedi La Rona" symbolizes the pride and history of the people of Botswana," William Lamb, the CEO of Lucara said.
In January, Lucara launched a public competition to all Botswana citizens, including the company’s employees in the country, to name the diamond. After more than 11,000 entries, including retaining audit firm Ernst & Young to oversee the competition, Thembani Moitlhobogi was chosen as the winner and will receive approximately USD$2,200.
"The outpouring of pride and patriotism shown by all the participants in the contest was incredible,” said Lamb. “The diamond industry has played a vital role in the country's development, allowing for significant and ongoing investment in world-class healthcare, education and infrastructure."
The Lesedi La Rona diamond measures 65mm x 56mm x 40mm in size. The value of the diamond has not been determined because it does not fit into conventional scanners, which are used to evaluate a stone’s potential worth.
Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is producing two million tonnes per annum of high grade iron ore in the first phase of development, with expansion possibilities of greater than six million tonnes per annum of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”