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Christian pastor discovers amazing treasure in Sierra Leone

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The Pastor was part of a ministry in the mining communities of the Kono district.

African church minister Emmanuel Momoh supplements his meager stipend by mining various minerals in the mines of eastern Sierra Leone.

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Pastor Emmanuel Momoh made an amazing discovery.

Pastor Emmanuel Momoh made an amazing discovery.

Highlights

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
3/17/2017 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Emmanuel Momoh, diamond, Sierra Leone

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - He competes with internationally-financed companies out in the Kono diamond fields, which work with large bulldozers, dredges and industrial water pumps.

Meanwhile, Momoh mines without the advanced technology but has so far kept how he discovered his prize a secret.


All Fr. Momoh is admitting is he discovered a 706-carat alluvial diamond in Yakadu village in Sierra Leone.

The amazing find is estimated to be worth nearly $62 million and was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday.

It is the second largest diamond discovered in Sierra Leone, with the largest discovered in 1972. The 968.9-carat Star of Sierra Leone was sold for about $2.5 million.

The Pastor decided to turn the diamond in because the local government has been helping with road construction and improvements to electrical issues plaguing the region with nearly 30 years of blackouts.

"I believe the government can do more," he explained, "especially at a time when the country is undergoing some economic challenges."

The 706-carat diamond.

The 706-carat diamond (Saidu Bah/AFP).


Sierra Leone's diamond mines have helped fuel a civil war that ended fifteen years ago but the country remains one of the poorest in the world.

When the president accepted the gift, he expressed his appreciation for the pastor's honesty. He encouraged others to follow Pastor Momoh's example and praised him for not attempting to smuggle the valuable gem from the country.

President Koroma added "clear instruction to the Ministry of Mines that the evaluation, sale and distribution of the proceeds must be done in the most transparent manner."

Under Sierra Leone law, Pastor Momoh is entitled to all but four percent of the proceeds of the future sale, which the government will keep for evaluation and export but it has yet to be valued.

U.S.-based diamond expert Paul Zimnisky told AFP the gem could rank "between the 10th and 15th largest gem-diamonds ever discovered."


Regardless of its worth, Sierra Leone has benefited from the generosity of a single man willing to do what he believed was best for the region.

Thank you, Lord, for the spirit of giving.

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