Maseru – The mining sector contributes an estimated 10 percent Gross Domestic Product to the country’s economic growth.
This was said by Minister of Mining, Honourable Lebohang Thotanyana in his statement in the National Assembly, saying the sector is currently generating about 3000 jobs while money put into the government purse is well over One Billion Maloti through taxes and royalties plus foreign currency exceeding 500 Million United States Dollars.
He said his Ministry’s plan is to increase operational diamond mines from the current two to six by 2020, adding that Liqhobong Mine has just invested 2.4 Billion Maloti and is testing a new plant which has already started operations, while Kolo Mine is now bringing mining material like machinery and is compliant with Environmental Impact Assessment.
Honourable Thotanyana also pointed out that the Cabinet has offered Sputnik Investments a mining license at Mothae, while at Lemphane, his Ministry is yet to make an expression of interest to the mining company, and is negotiating with interested mining companies to award licenses for Motete.
He said their aim is to attract investments in excess of Five Billion Maloti and to increase job opportunities from 3000 to 5000 in the mining sector alone and production from 340 carats to 1500 carats, making Lesotho one of the world’s leading diamond producers.
Mr. Thotanyana said government is also looking at mining diversification in which Lesotho Geo Chemical Mapping Project is done to discover mineral elements that are close to 23, saying there are opportunities in the country of hydro-carbons like oil and gas.