LETŠENG Diamonds has opened a facility to provide information about the diamond mining industry in the country.
Dubbed, Letšeng Diamond Discovery Centre, the facility was officially opened on Friday in a ceremony attended by King Letsie III, Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Bereng Seeiso and a host of other dignitaries who included cabinet ministers.
The state-of-the-art facility is located on the ground floor of Letšeng’s head office building in Maseru, and takes visitors on a journey of discovery about the origins of diamonds, their extraction and uses. The centre, which is open to visitors during weekdays, employs visual and model illustrations to paint a vivid picture of the diamond mining industry.
Addressing the gathering, Letšeng Diamonds Chief Executive, Mazvi Maharasoa, said the objective of the centre was to enlighten Basotho on the nature of the diamond-mining industry and the role it plays in the country’s socio-economic development.
“The primary objective of the centre is to promote knowledge, learning, enlightenment and understanding about Lesotho’s diamond resources in a global context,” she said.
“It serves as a fountain of learning for all Basotho who wish to pursue careers in developing the country’s diamond mining industry.”
Ms Maharasoa said the initiative was also intended to inform the nation about the “great contribution” made by Letšeng and other mines to the country’s long-term economy growth.
She also pointed out that the centre would demystify the diamond mining industry.
“For a long time, it has been apparent the diamond mining sector was misunderstood and very little was known of what was happening in the sector,” said Ms Maharasoa.
“Therefore, the centre could not have come at a better time, when knowledge and information needed to be shared with the nation. Letšeng saw it fit to be the author and custodian of this invaluable and intriguing information.”
Letšeng Diamonds Chairman Clifford Elphick chipped in saying the information provided by the centre would be invaluable to different sectors of the community.
“This is a particularly happy occasion because we are opening the Letšeng Diamond Discovery Centre and starting a journey. This is a journey whose objective is not only to tell Letšeng’s story but to educate and expose tens of thousands of Basotho to the excitement, complexities and opportunities of diamond mining, particularly in the Lesotho context,” he said.
“Our objective is to provide access to the diamond story; the facts and the figures as well as the history to scholars, students, ordinary people, decision makers and tourists.”
Through the centre, Mr Elphick said visitors would be in a position to know exactly that the mine does, what its process and methods are as well as its position in relation to other industries in the world.
For his part, Mining Minister Lebohang Thotanyana said the initiative was a clear indication of Letšeng’s commitment to contribute to the growth of the diamond mining industry.
“As government, we see this facility as one of the major steps by the diamond-mining industry in helping achieve the Mining and Minerals Policy objective of transparency in all aspects of administrating and managing the country’s mining and minerals sector,” Mr Thotanyana said.