DEPUTY Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu has urged the Ministry of Mining to consider increasing the shares owned by the Government in local diamond mines to at least 51 percent so that the funds could be used towards the development of the country.
Oct. 17, 2021
3 min read
Govt deserves more shares in local diamond mines – Mokhothu
Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu
- Second Mosotho opens diamond mine in Lesotho
- More local mines will stop Basotho from working in illegal SA mines
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Currently the government owns shares ranging between 25 and 30 percent in local mines ran by foreign investors.
Mr Mokhothu was speaking at the sod turning ceremony to mark the official opening of the Qaqa Diamond Mine located in Malingoaneng, Mokhotlong on Thursday.
Qaqa is the second diamond mine owned by a Mosotho entrepreneur in the country with the first, the Thaba-Telle also located in Mokhotlong officially opened in August.
There are six diamond mines operating in Lesotho and they include Letšeng, Mothae, Kao, Liqhobong, Thaba-Telle and Qaqa.
Mr Mokhothu said it is encouraging for Basotho to own mines, adding that the expectation is they will create employment and reduce the skyrocketing unemployment the nation faces.
“The country should open a development bank where Basotho could invest and borrow in order to implement development projects including mines,” he said, inviting Basotho to partner with foreign investors in such projects instead of just getting compensations for their lands used for the projects.
Similar sentiments were shared by the Minister of Mining Serialong Qoo who showed that his ministry is mandated to create employment through opening more mines owned by Basotho for socio-economic development.
Speaking at the same event, the Principal Chief of Malingoaneng Chief Qetho Sekonyela urged the mining company to ensure that the mine benefits the residents of Malingoaneng by offering them jobs.
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“I believe the opening of more mines will prevent Basotho men from going to South Africa to work in illegal and abandoned gold mines where they fight and get killed in big numbers,” he said.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Qaqa Diamond Mining Company, Mohapi Khofu thanked the government through the ministry for allowing them to open the mine.
He pledged commitment to contribute towards the development and economic growth of the country.
Mr Khofu appealed for support from the neighbouring mines of Letšeng and Mothae.
The Qaqa Diamond mine is located a kilometer away from Letšeng and two kilometres from Mothae. LeNA