Motete Mine to hire up to 100 locals

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RETHABILE MOHONO
MASERU –
A new open cast diamond mine, Motete Dyke Mining, entirely wholly owned by Basotho is ready to kick start its operations in Motete, Buthe-Buthe. The company has partnered with Univest Mining a South African mining and exploration company, with a strong commodities interest in coal, chrome, gold and diamonds. Motete Dyke Mining company has already been awarded a 10-year mining lease and this strategic partnership secures the investment to kick-start phase 1 of the project.

Univest Mining’s key competences are contract mining, commodities trading and mining consultancy services. The lease was issued to the company after it applied for it in 2019. This followed a liquidation of another company in 2016 paving way for the floating of tenders for the Motete mining. According to Group CEO of Univest Group Holding, Mr Karabo Mkhabela, they have secured investment of about US$3 million which is equivalent to M55,147,500 million for the first phase of the mining.

“For the second phase at least US$10 million (about M183.6 million) will be injected into the project,” he said, emphasising that the project is soon to fully operate and change lives of Motete residents whose major need is job opportunities. Mkhabela said further that the company has already completed the road that leads to the Motete area and he expects the mining to be operational within the next six months.

“We promised to grant job opportunities to between 50 to 100 Motete residents in phase 1,” he said, explaining that they already did multiple surveys at the area and they are willing to develop local health services, education, small scale farming, and transfer skills to locals, among several other initiatives. Mr Lenepa Ratalane, a Mosotho shareholder in Motete Dyke, said residents in the area during the initial community consultations have identified roads as a key priority need, which the company has already delivered. This he said, is a strong commitment by the company to working hand in glove with the community on identified projects through the formation of local committees. 

The committees would address development issues while creating open communication between the company and the community. “To reduce the high unemployment rate in Motete, we will be engaging both skilled and unskilled labour from within the community and will also engage local farmers for provision of food within the mine,” he added, emphasising that there is going to be skills transfer to unskilled community members. “We also promise to improve agriculture in the communities and of course will be focusing on health and education to ensure the development of the communities around the mine,” he said.

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