RAPAPORT… A 709.48-carat diamond discovered by a pastor in Sierra
Leone will go up for sale by international tender, authorities have announced.
The stone, believed to be the 13th-largest rough diamond
ever found, will be available for viewing at the Bank of Sierra Leone for a
week starting this Wednesday, the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources said
in a statement last week.
Potential buyers can obtain bidding documents on payment of
a non-refundable $5,000 fee, as well as a $50,000 deposit, the ministry said. The
sealed offers will be opened in front of all bidders on April 6.
Artisanal miner Pastor Emmanuel A. Momoh found the diamond
earlier this month in the Kono district, and the stone was presented to Sierra
Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma.
Koroma has previously said the selling
process will be transparent and that the highest bidder will win the stone,
subject to a reserve price. He has also stressed the importance of selling it
within the country for the benefit of the nation.