Diamond miner and explorer Lucara Diamond Corp has named its 1.111 carat gem quality diamond “Lesedi La Rona”.

Lucara Diamond Corp COO Paul Day at the Lesedi La Rona diamond naming event at the Investing in African Mining Indaba
Lucara Diamond Corp COO Paul Day at the Lesedi La Rona diamond naming event at the Investing in African Mining Indaba

The name of the diamond, which means “our light” in Setswana, was recovered in November 2015 from the company’s Karowe mine in Botswana.

Speaking at the name unveiling on the sidelines of the 2016 Investing in African Mining Indaba, Lucara CEO and president William Lamb said that Lesedi La Rona is the largest diamond ever recovered in Botswana and the second largest ever found in the world.

Lesedi La Rona, which originated from the south lobe of Karowe mine, was recovered by the newly installed, large diamond recovery XRT machines. The stone measures 65 mm x 56 mm x 40 mm in size and is the largest ever to be recovered in Botswana.

On January 18 2016 the company launched a competition to name the golf ball-sized Type IIa diamond and entrants were invited to submit their suggested name and their rationale for their choice.

To ensure transparency and independence during the name selection process, the audit firm of Ernst & Young were retained to oversee the competition.

The judging panel consisted of a total of five executives from both Lucara and the Karowe mine. Entries were submitted to the judging panel on an anonymous basis with Ernst & Young retrieving the winner's name after the panel had selected the winning name for the diamond.

Of the more than 11 000 entries that were received, Thembani Moitlhobogi was the naming winner and will receive a prize of 25 000 Pula.

"The outpouring of pride and patriotism shown by all the participants in the contest was incredible,” said Lamb.

Lucara has recovered some of the largest diamonds to date at its Karowe mine including a 1 111 carat gem quality, Type IIa diamond, an 813 carat stone and a 374 carat stone.

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