Sierra Leone pastor finds 706-carat diamond in village

(AP photo)

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- Sierra Leone's government says that a pastor in the country's Kono district has found and turned in the largest uncut diamond discovered in more than four decades in the West African country.

Presidential Spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay said Thursday that a 706-carat diamond was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday. He said that Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the diamond in Yakadu village in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich eastern province.

This is the second largest diamond to be found in Sierra Leone. In 1972 the 968.9-carat Star of Sierra Leone was found by miners.

The president promised proceeds from auctioning the diamond to the highest bidder would be distributed transparently.

The presidential spokesman said the diamond has not yet been valued, but has been deposited at the Bank of Sierra Leone.

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