Exploring opportunities beyond diamonds



MASERU— An upcoming forum aims to shed light on the significance of mining and explore the opportunities it presents for Lesotho.  Set to take place next Thursday and Friday, the event, known as the Mining Indaba Khotla, will be themed ‘The Future of Mining in a Global Landscape’ and will be held at the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru.

Anticipated to draw investors and stakeholders from around the world, the Indaba Khotla seeks to promote mining investment by addressing critical issues and devising a path towards sustainable growth. Organisers aspire to attract international investors to the country to harness available resources for the benefit of Basotho.

“It’s a significant departure from the common perception that mining in Lesotho is solely about diamond extraction. Our aim is to explore all available resources for the betterment of Basotho,” remarked Teboho Shelile, one of the organisers. In an interview with Public Eye earlier this week, he described the conference as a platform for fostering conversations and discussions and showcasing Lesotho as a prime mining destination. Shelile said in addition to panel discussions, they have arranged breakout rooms for facilitating deals and deeper dialogues.

He represents the Kingdom of Lesotho Mining Indaba, a private company incorporated just 12 months ago that is spearheading the event. Their overarching goal is investment promotion, extending beyond the mining sector alone. Shelile added: “There are numerous untapped opportunities within Lesotho’s mining industry.”

Highlighting Lesotho’s potential, he noted that while some areas have undergone testing, many others remain unexploited. He cited sand as an example, stating: “Lesotho has been tested in some areas; for instance, with sandstones, there are comprehensive studies available, and we have identified around 25 resource sites. However, when it comes to diamond mining, we have fewer than five. We aim to change the misconception that mining in Lesotho is exclusively about diamonds.”

When questioned about government support for the event, Shelile clarified: “Apart from an endorsement to host the event, we haven’t received any direct support from the government.”

He further remarked: “It is worth noting that the vision to host the Mining Indaba in Lesotho was not a recent one; we have approached previous administrations with this idea. However, for various reasons, it did not materialise until now.”At the Mining Indaba Khotla media launch last Thursday, the Minister of Natural Resources, Mohlomi Moleko said Lesotho’s mining sector plays a vital role in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and should be maximised to drive economic growth. He highlighted the upcoming dialogue and conference as a platform for Lesotho to showcase its potential to a global audience.

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