Government of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 11th May 2017 at Bank Complex, King Tom, West of Freetown rejected the highest bidder of the 709.41 Carats uncut diamond and vowed to take bidding international.
The Director General of the National Mineral Agency (NMA), Sahr Wonday announced to the gathering that none of the bidders matched the government’s reserve price and the State will now take the bidding internationally.
Receiving the bids, Sahr Wonday said that six companies initially sought interest and paid the sum of five thousand dollars ($5000) for the biding form and to view the gem but only five attended the ceremony at the Bank Complex. The six companies, he said, are; HM Diamonds, Raydianbvba, Safdico International Limited, Diamond Creation, Fatmed Barrie and Ofek Diamonds. It was only Fatmed Barrie that was absent in the process.
He went on that HM Diamond bided five million and two thousand United States Dollars ($5, 002,000), Raydianbvba Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Seven Dollars ($7,777777), Safdico Five Million One Hundred and Thirty Sx Thousand, Three Hundred and Sixty Dollars ($5,136,360), Diamond Creation, Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) and Ofek Leones Three Million Seven Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand Dollars ($3,736000).
After a brief recess, all gathered again and the formal announcement of the bids and government’s position was made “I regret to inform you however that none of the bids submitted here today matched the government of Sierra Leone’s reserve price. In view of this, we shall explore the possibility of havinga similar biding exercise in one of the renowneddiamond markets in the world” NMA Director General stated. He added that, they are encouraging all those who have tendered their bids to revisit them and bid again. He ended by saying that details of the next bidding will be announced to the public in due course as he thanked all those who have participated in the entire process.
The position of government to reject the $7,777777 as the highest bid by the Raydianbvba Company based in Belgium for the 709.41 Carats uncut gem diamond was received with a thunderous clap and appreciation by attendeesin the hall. They considered the decision of government as a wise decision. Many considered the bids as too infinitesimalas they expect the diamond to worth more than the bids.
According tothe man who found the gem, Pastor Emmanuel Momoh he expressed his satisfaction with the position of government to reject the bid and remained optimistic that they will get the right bidder for the diamond.
In his opening statement, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Abdul Ignosi Koroma described the gathering as a historic event in the country’s mineral sector. “Sierra Leone has a long history of mining dating back to the 1930s, and since then thousands of diamonds of numerous sizes, shapes and colours have been found and exported out of the country” Abdul Ignosi Koroma said.
The Mines Deputy Minister disclosed to the gathering that this is the first time in the history of the country that such a diamond is on tender inside Sierra Leone, and asked on all that gathered in the hall to congratulate themselves for being part of such a historic event.
He added that “Today’s event is a manifestation of government’s commitment to the principles of transparency and accountability in the management of our Mineral wealth” He maintained. He ended by saying that the primary focus of the event is to ensure government gets the best possible price for the diamond. He went on that they are aware of other issues surrounding ownership, percentages and more but assured that all will be addressed by the laws of the country in a fair and transparent manner.
The event attracted senior Government Officials, Private Business Companies, Civil Society Organizations, Religious Leaders and both Local and International Media.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.