The Karowe Diamond Mine, owned by Lucara Diamonds, is located in the Letlhakane region some 500 km north-west of Gaberone in Botswana. Since the AK 6 pipe was opened in 2012 it has yielded over 2,000,000 carats (400 kg) of diamonds.
The mine was thrust into the international spotlight following the discovery of the Lesedi La Rona (translated means ‘Our Light’) diamond weighing 1,109 carats, measuring 65 mm x 56 mm x 40 mm on 16 November 2016 and an estimated worth over USD$65 million. The Lesedi La Rona is the largest diamond recovered using machines for automated ore sorting and processing and believed to be only the second diamond ever recovered to exceed the 1,000-carat mark, the largest being the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond discovered more than one hundred years prior, in 1905, part of which, the Great Star of Africa, now forms part of the British royal crown jewels. Lucara’s historical discovery was followed only a day later with two more diamonds being recovered and weighing 813 and 374 carats, respectively.