Botswana is amending its law to give the government the first option to buy diamonds that are “unusually large” or have other unusual features found in its mines.
A draft bill amending the Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Act now stipulates that anyone who comes into possession of an “unusual rough or uncut diamond “must notify the minister within 30 days”.
The reviewed act will give government the first option to buy the stone.
The bill has not specified the definition of “unusual”.
The government decided to push for the amendment following the recovery of Lucara Diamond Corp’s Lesedi La Rona stone at the Karowe mine – the world’s second largest diamond at 1 109 carats.
The Bill states: “The price to be paid by government for a rough or uncut precious stone offered for sale by the producer shall be agreed between the parties in accordance with the current market price of the rough or uncut precious stone.”
Lucara announced in September that it has sold the Lesedi La Rona for US$53 million to Graff Diamonds – just less than two years since it was recovered in November 2015.