Ministry of Mines & Energy Settles Chaos Over Claimed Ownership of Diamond
The case involving a diamond, weighed 53.27 caret and found in Gbarpolu County, which created commotion between two registered claims, has been resolved by Assistant Minister of Mines Emmanuel T.T. Swen, at the Ministry of Land, Mines and Energy.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy is the statutory agency of government in charge of administering the mining sector of Liberia. It was established by an act of Legislature as part of the Executive branch of government.
It key functions include to conduct evaluation of mineral applications and grant mineral rights, promote geo-scientific collection and dissemination about the nation’s mineral and water resources, engage in scientific investigations for the proper assessment of mineral and water resources, promote research programs and activities favoring the development of new and alternative renewable sources of energy, and so on.
On the closure of the Muslim Ramadan in April, a fisherman and hunter, Mohammed Kamara, also known as “Jr.”, found a diamond weighed about 53.27 caret in Smith Town.
Diamond is a mineral composed of pure carbon. It is the hardest naturally occurring substance known. It is also the most popular gemstone.
Being ignorant of the matter, Kamara gave it to one of his friends to test it, and the test determined it a diamond.
Its information spread like a wildfire in Gbarpolu County and its vicinities, and in Montserrado County Mustapha Tomkara, President of Diamond Dealers Association, assured Minister Swen that he could calm down the hullabaloo surrounding the diamond, but he could not.
But there has been claim and counterclaim since the discovery of the mineral between Claim 9 and Claim 12, with each requesting that the diamond was taken from one of them by Jr.
Jr., who is former in-law to Ma Fatu Borbor, owner of Claim 9, was told earlier by some community members to reveal that he found the diamond on Claim 9, so that Ma Fatu, his former mother-in-law, could get the lion share, but he maintained his stance finding it on Claim 12.
According to Minister Swen, on Thursday both parties were invited at the Ministry since the Diamond Dealers Association’s President could not resolve the chaos of ownership.
“Ma Fatu brought six witnesses to testify that the diamond was taken from her Claim. We put them in separate areas and quizzed them,” according to Minister Swen.
But the six witnesses’ statements contradicted previous statements, which raged that Jr. took the diamond from Ma Fatu’s Claim.
Josephus Sampson, an agent of Ma Fatu’s Claim, said he went to wash his huss and saw Jr. on Claim 9, but he did not ask him and neither inform his boss, Fatu; likewise the security, whose testimony was similar to Josephus’.
“So we ruled that Jr., who found the diamond, testified that he found it on Claim 12; therefore, the founder and Claim 12 became the owners,” Minister Swen said, ruling in favor of Claim 12.
Upon rendering the verdict, the Minister said his complaint was taken to Senator Saah Joseph by some members of the county—how he took diamond from the Kissi tribe and gave it to the Mandingo tribe, stating that after he made it explicit to the Senator he did not ask him further question.
The diamond is being processed and, if completed, Liberia will benefit from 3% of its sale.
Diamond type is a method of scientifically classifying diamonds by the level and type of their chemical impurities. It is divided into five types: type Ia, type Ib, type 1aB, type IIa, and type IIb.
The impurities measured are at the atomic level within the crystal lattice of carbon atoms, and so, unlike inclusion, require an infrared spectrometer to detect.
Diamond is also valued by its weigh, shape, color, which are determined by machine, crystal structure and the number of purities, according to the Minister.