The minister said he has already visited the mining site together with the Parliament Natural Resource Portfolio Committee to inspect the area.
“The committee should know about the project now so that as soon as we need some financial backing, funds would be made available,” Mr Qoo said.
Coal mining experts from South Africa are currently working with their Lesotho counterparts to determine the quality and quantity of the mine’s coal deposits.
The project, the minister said is part of government’s initiatives to fight hunger and address the high unemployment rate in the country, especially amongst the youth.
The COVID-19 pandemic, he showed has added salt to the wound, by compounding the spiralling unemployment crisis.
“People are losing jobs in large numbers across several sectors, especially in the textile industry,” he said, adding that the plan is to ensure that local residents get the first preference in terms of employment.
“The project is in their home village and they should enjoy the benefits before everybody else.”
The government, he said is working hard towards resuscitating the fragile economy through available natural resources.
“We have already met the relevant authorities in the district to inform them that soon, we will be starting coal mining operations in the area,” Mr Qoo also said.
For his part, Member of Parliament for the Qhalasi constituency Palo Leteetee said the prospecting process was done way back in 2017 although it was not completed.
“I will have much to discuss when the actual operations kick off,” Mr Leteetee said.