Liqhobong mine reopens

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By Lerema Pheea

Mining Minister Serialong Qoo has announced the reopening of Liqhobong mine operated by Liqhobong mine development company majority-owned by London stock exchange-listed Firestone.

Qoo said there are four mines in Lesotho namely Letšeng diamond mine, Liqhobong mine, Kao mine, and Mothae mine but currently there are only three which are operating except for Liqhobong mine which was closed owing to the Covid-19 crisis.

Qoo said it has now been a year and few months since the mine was closed but it is now set to restart its operations.

He added at the time the mine closed its operations tens of workers lost their jobs with the mine and were retrenched.

He said even though workers lost their jobs with the mine they have agreed with the mine to first recruit their former workers.

Qoo said these former employees of the mine would be the first to get job opportunities with the mine.

The Minister also said the enactment of legislation allowing artisan miners will be passed into law very soon.

He said the parliament is about to reconvene and this artisanal mining licenses issuance that shall come after the passing of the law shall have high chances of creating many jobs for the public.

He addressed that the ministry of mining has been allocated the money which its tendency is to hire a diamond valuator and this money will be from the ministry of planning under project before the end of this year as this valuator will be officially announced acknowledged by the ministry of mining to help the government of Lesotho.

He said that this evaluator will help the government on these following points; to offer the help in processes the diamond ought to pass through in all steps that are worthy, to check the value of a diamond on how is worth as it was declared by the mine and to make some follow-ups where this diamonds right to be sold and the report will be issued for the ministry.

He said Lesotho shall open a diamond center that will generate more than 500 works before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Qoo also talked about the auction of diamonds which was conducted in Maseru which he said legalized the unlawfully acquired diamonds and helped sell these diamonds.