No successful bidders for giant diamond
Publish date: 15 May 2017
Issue Number: 725
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Sierra Leone
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh, who found one of the world's largest uncut diamonds, says he expects to get $50m for the 709-carat precious stone, after it failed to reach its minimum reserve price at auction in Sierra Leone. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Momoh, who is an artisanal miner in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich Kono district, discovered the stone in March and handed it over to the government. BBC News reports that the highest bid at $7.8m came from a UK citizen based in Antwerp, Belgium. The reserve price, which was set by the Sierra Leonean government, is a secret. ‘We are going to sell the diamond in Antwerp, for us to get the best (bid) within the next few weeks,’ said Sahr Wonday, director-general of Sierra Leone's National Minerals Agency. A report on the eNCA site notes that experts believe the money emanating from the smuggling trade in 'blood diamonds' helped to fuel the conflict in Sierra Leone and other African countries.