The title "world's richest piece of real estate" may conjure up images of Rodeo Drive, the French Riviera or New York City's Fifth Avenue, but it may actually be located in … Botswana.
According to Debswana, a mining conglomerate jointly owned by De Beers and the Botswana government, the richest piece of land on the planet may very well be the Jwaneng diamond mine, one of the world's five super pits.
"Jwaneng mine is the most valuable diamond mine in the world by value," says Esther Kanaimba-Senai, the head of corporate affairs for Debswana in Botswana. "Each carat that we mine fetches a lot more money. … In addition the volume that we produce lends itself to be the most valuable mine in the world."
The Jwaneng mine produces about 10-million carats a year, and now they're about to embark in a super project to go even deeper into the earth to increase output.
The mine currently runs 1,150 feet below the earth's surface and is already in the process of Cut 8, a $3.4-billion dollar operation to push back one edge of the pit to expand mining.
The new massive earth-moving operation - called Cut 9 - if approved, could drive the mine 28 hundred feet below the earth's surface and require moving 1 billion tons of rock.
Kanaimba-Senai hesitates to give specifics on what Cut 9 may accomplish, as they are currently doing a land survey and approval for any plan is still several months away, but the most valuable piece of land on earth may prove to be even more valuable than in years past.
"I can't tell you how many of them are there, all I know is that it will be sufficient to be able to propel the economy of this country."