Liqhobong Mining Development Company (LMDC) on Tuesday donated food parcels to 97 villagers from surrounding communities.
LMDC site manager, Ntsane Makhetha, told guests at the handover that they were driven to assist the villagers because of their apparent vulnerability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Itself a victim of Covid-19, the mine management temporarily suspended operations for 12 months with effect from June this year to 2021 as result of the poor market performance amid the negative impact of the pandemic.
Firestone Diamonds, a United Kingdom company, owns 75 percent of LMDC, the company which owns Liqhobong Mine. The Lesotho government controls the remaining 25 percent stake in LMDC.
The mine was first forced to suspend operations with the rest of other “non-essential” service providers when the government enforced a national lockdown in March this year to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
It immediately sent home 600 workers and contractors leaving skeletal staff to maintain its machinery.
And Mr Makhetha said they were driven to make the donations by the plight of the villagers.
“With the donations we are giving out today, we are delivering a message that half a loaf is better than nothing,” Mr Makhetha said.
“While we are still under care and maintenance, we observed the plight of the community around us amid covid-19, so we decided to share with them little that we have.”
Mr Makhetha said the mine strives to support the community wherever it is possible.
“LMDC has a vision to remain a beacon of hope for our surrounding communities, and we will continue working to fulfil that vision.”
On behalf of the villagers, Moeketsi Lesefa expressed gratitude to the mine saying the beneficiaries would now enjoy Christmas because of the food packages.
The relief packages included among other things, maize meal, bread meal, dry beans and peas, cooking oil, sugar, salt soap and vegetables.
Tumahole Lerafa, the Democratic Congress (DC’s) Motete constituency legislator, commended the mine for the gesture.
“For the mine to make donations despite being hit by Covid-19, is a massive effort. These donations will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of the beneficiary families.”
The beneficiaries, who are some of the most vulnerable members of the community, were identified through the assistance of an association of villagers.