Gem 709 was expected to find it final destination on the early hours of yesterday, but the bidding process have to be taken to the international market, in a bid to attract more bidders in the foreign market, in order to meet the actual equivalent of the Sierra Leone precious stone.
Director General National Minerals Agency, Sahr Wonday confirmed that they would have to extend the time for the bidding and that the next bidding will take place in Belgium as that could attract more lucrative bidders for the diamond.
Sahr Wonday added “the diamond is not going to be sold as all the bidders present here did not meet the government reserve price and the next stage also is going to be another bidding process but this time at the international market, in Belgium.”
Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Abdul Ignusi Koroma stated that the bidding process marked was an historic event in the history of the country mining sector and that Sierra Leone has a long standing history in mining dating back to the 1930s, adding that since that time thousands of diamonds of various sizes, shapes and colours have been found and exported out of the country.
“However, this is the first time in the history of our country that we are putting a diamond of this size on tender inside Sierra Leone, and all of us gathered here must congratulate ourselves for being part of this history.” Hon. Abdul Ignusi Koroma stated.
He furthered that the 709.41 carats diamond has been the subject of today and that the government has manifested the principles of commitment, the principles of transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s mineral wealth.
Presidential Spokesman, Abdulai Bayraytay said that as a government they want to get the best out of it as a way to ensure it benefit each and every Sierra Leoneans and that there was going to be a second bidding which would be outside the country.
Abdulai Bayraytay, confirmed that they had invited valuators to guide the government in reaching at the reserve price which according to him if disclose has the tendency to affect the credibility of the next stage which happened to be a process bidding also. He maintained that the government would ensure and maintain transparency and accountability throughout the process and that even at the international stage they would inform the people of Sierra Leone adequately what will happen there.