MONROVIA: Amidst the controversies surrounding the 53.34 carat diamond which was “discovered and recovered” in Smith Town, Gbarma Mining District #2 in Gbarpolu County on Claim 12 F/Survey the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Mines and Energy has said the mineral met all qualifying requirement as it was fully documented and accounted for and sold before being shipped out of the country.
In a press release issued by the Press and Public Affairs Department of the Ministry of Mines and Energy over the weekend, the Government of Liberia further clarified that the Exporter/Dealer went through all required processes of the Minerals and Mining Laws through the Gold and Diamond office at the Ministry, adding “it must be emphasized that said diamond was exported in full compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS)”
“The Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme, of which Liberia is a participating country, is an international transparency mechanism that regulates the trading in rough diamonds. Additionally, the Government clarifies that a Joint Security Board of Investigation was established comprising the Ministry of Justice, Executive Protective Service, Armed Forces of Liberia, National Security Agency, and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“The Board which was chaired by the Ministry of Justice had the specific mandate to establish where the diamond was discovered and recovered so as to establish ownership. Their investigation which included site visitation revealed that the 53.34 carat diamond was found by one Mohamed Kamara, alias JR, near Smith Town, Gbarma Mining District #2, Lofa River, Claim 12/F Survey.
“However, the previous owner of Mining Claim 12 F/survey on which the diamond was discovered and recovered lost legal ownership rights to the diamond because the mining license for the said claim expired since May 25, 2022, and that the 53.34 carat diamond was found on that claim by Mohammed Kamara (commonly known as JR) on April 21, 2023”, the release said.
The release further said that contrary to public perception about the value of the 53.34 carat diamond, “the Government of Liberia informs the public that the diamond was appraised by mineral valuators of the Ministry of Mines and Energy through its Gold and Diamond Office (GDO), including an independent International Valuator assigned by the Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme (KPC)”. It said the value of the diamond was put at US$1.003.880.55 (One Million Three Hundred Eight-eight Thousand, Fifty Five Cents United States Dollars).
The release stated that the Exporter/Dealer paid a total amount of US$80,146.78 (Eighty Thousand One Hundred and Forty Six Dollars and Seventy-eight cents United States Dollars) to the Government of Liberia through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) from the sale of the diamond.
“This amount constitutes a three percent royalty tax fee amounting to US$30,116.42 (Thirty Thousand One Hundred and Sixteen Dollars, and Forty-two cents United States Dollars), plus a fine of US$50,000 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars). In addition to the 53.34 carat diamond, the Dealer/Exporter already had 24.1 carats which put the total shipment in his parcel to 78.01 carats. The Government clarifies that the fine was imposed on the cost of the diamond because it was purchased from a mining claim that had expired documents”, the release concluded.