The 709.48 carats diamond found in the Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono district is expected to be bought by prominent Koidu based diamond magnate, Mr. Kassim Basma.
The diamond which was discovered by an artisanal diamond miner, Mr. Emmanuel Momoh alias Pastor was handed over to Mr. Jihad Basma (the eldest son of Mr. Kassim Basma) in Koidu City on Tuesday for safe keeping.
According to a Mines Monitoring Officer (MMO) in Koidu, Mr. Momoh insisted that, the Paramount Chief of Tankoro Chiefdom, PC Paul N. Saquee V must be involved in the sale of the diamond to Mr. Basma.
Chief Saquee visited the Basma home in Koidu and asked that the diamond be escorted to Freetown for the attention of the Government.
Mr. Jihad Basma, who had kept the diamond for almost thirty six hours, travelled with Chief Saquee and Emmanuel A. Momoh alias Pastor to Freetown. They met with the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray who escorted them to State House to meet with the President on Wednesday.
Mr. Kassim Basma, who was in Belgium, hurriedly arrived in Freetown last night to confirm to the government that he is willing and able to buy the stone, since Pastor had insisted that he, must be given the first option to buy it.
Senior Mines Ministry officials in Kono have confirmed that, Pastor is a licensed diamond miner in the district. Chief Paul Saquee is making frantic efforts to claim the diamond since it was discovered in his chiefdom.
Meanwhile, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has ordered that, the stone be kept at the Bank of Sierra Leone vault until a suitable buyer is found. The President has insisted that, the diamond must be bought by a resident diamond exporter in Sierra Leone.
The diamond is expected to fetch millions of United States dollars, according to GGDO officials in Freetown.