THE appointment of a national diamond evaluator will bring a significant change towards the development of diamond mining in Lesotho.
July 22, 2021
2 min read
Why should the mention of a diamond evaluator send jitters down miners’ spines?
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Although local mines are not too impressed with this development, it is high time they understood that such a portfolio will help introduce professionalism in the industry.
Among others, a diamond evaluator is responsible for rendering technical advice to both the government and relevant stakeholders in the industry on valuations, pricing and market fluctuations of diamonds in accordance with the laws.
The official will among others also oversee all the necessary transactions and other processes involving diamond sales as well as revenue allocations.
The engagement of the diamond evaluator who will be installed before the end of the year follows government’s misgivings that the mines are shortchanging the state coffers by not fully declaring accurate sums in diamond sales and other essential processes.
The government contends that this result in massive revenue losses while the mines rake in huge amounts of cash for themselves.
If at all this suspicion is true, the government needs to act urgently and install the diamond evaluator before any more revenue could be unduly lost.
But the mines are adamant that the engagement of such an official will only interfere with the smooth operations of the trade.
The government which is ready for a serious scuffle in the event the local mines are not prepared to work with the diamond evaluator insists that such a position should have been filled ages ago.
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The only stumbling block was the lack of an adequate budget to cater for the said appointment, according to the Minister of Mining, Serialong Qoo.
“So what we are doing at the moment is to verify that we are indeed being swindled by the mines,” he said, reiterating that the government is ready for a fight because it is time for all transactions to be clear going forward.
If the mines insist on not cooperating with the installment of the diamond evaluator, that only means one thing - they are not happy what such official will unearth in their dealings.
The mines should put their cards on the table and prove to the whole world that the government’s suspicions have been unfounded.
Otherwise, they should be prepared for a no holds barred type of brawl with the government which cannot afford to lose any more of its due revenue.
Hopefully, this will be a fight for a good cause.