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Massive diamond found in Angola mines

A 404.2-carat colorless and flawless diamond

Share on Facebook February 16, 2016, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 738


LUANDA, Angola Diamonds are forever and this one could be historic for its size, color, luster and clarity.> Big News Network

A small Australian-listed mining company, Lucapa, has found a big catch in Angola a 404.2-carat colorless and flawless diamond worth more than $20 million.

The big diamond, which is said to be the 27th the largest ever discovered, was recently unearthed in Angola, Lucapa said Monday.

The mining company said the diamond measures about seven centimeter across -- about the length of a credit card. The diamond is the biggest found in Angola and the biggest ever mined by an Australian company.

It was mined by the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola's Lunda Norte province, in the country's north-east.

The project is a partnership between Endiama, Angola's national diamond company, Lucapa Diamond Company, and a private investor, Rosas and Petalas. The Australian company owns 40 percent of the Lulo project.

The CNNMoney reported that New York-based diamond retailer Yehuda tested the new diamond's color and clarity.

Yehuda put it in the category of Type IIa stones -- meaning it is virtually flawless.

It's also D-colored, or entirely colorless, Lucapa said. That is the rarest -- and likely most valuable -- color grade for a white diamond, according to the Gemological Institute of America.

Lucapa chairman Miles Kennedy said it was a huge achievement.

"When we first looked at the property, 3,000 square kilometres of untouched ground, 700 kilometres inland from the coast, you are talking about a very, very remote area," he said, about the mining area.

He said the "spectacular" diamond could be valued at more than $20 million.

"We're not used to valuing 400-carat diamonds, but if we look at other diamonds slightly less weight than this, you're looking in the order of $20 million," Kennedy said.

The Lulo Diamond Project began exploring the area in central Angola in 2015, and the area has so far produced more than 60 "large special diamonds," the company said.

Lucapa, a relatively tiny diamond exploration company, is traded on Australia's ASX stock exchange under the symbol LOM. It suspended trading a few days in advance of the announcement. When Lucapa resumed trading on Monday, its shares jumped 30 percent.

Angola is the world's fourth biggest country for diamond production. The 404.2 carat gem is now the largest to ever come out of the country, topping the 217.4 carat gem found in 2007 and dubbed the "Angolan Star."

The world record was a 3,106 carat gem, called the "Cullinan". It weighed in at a massive 1.3 pounds and was discovered in South Africa in 1905. That stone was cut to adorn the royal scepter, one of Britain's crown jewels, and is on display at the Tower of London.

"Cullinan" was nearly triple the size of the second largest diamond on record, which weighed 1,111 carats and was found in November 2014.

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