Largest diamond in a century

The second largest diamond ever has been extracted from a mine in Botswana.

The operating company Lucara Diamond say the 1,111-carat stone was recovered from its Karowe mine, about 300 miles north of the capital, Gaborone in southern part of the African continent.

The precious gem has been classified as a Type IIa diamond. These make up 1–2% of all natural diamonds and are almost, or entirely, devoid of impurities. They are consequently usually colourless and have high thermal conductivity.

It is the largest stone to ever be recovered using the company’s Large Diamond Recovery (“LDR”) XRT machines, which use high-resolution X-ray transmission image processing and dry-mechanic techniques to separate materials and waste streams.

William Lamb, president and CEO, of Lucara Diamond says: “The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century and the continued recovery of high quality stones from the south lobe, cannot be overstated. Our focus on mining the south lobe has been perfectly timed with the commissioning of our recent plant modifications, enabling the recovery of these large, high quality exceptional diamonds.”

Diamonds are well known as the hardest naturally occurring substance found on Earth, and are commonly used for grinding tooling as wear properties are very good as a consequence.

The synthetic material Wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite, which comes from meteorites, are both harder materials.

Justin Cunningham

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