MOKHOTLONG — Letšeng Diamond Mine last Friday ploughed-back to the Mokhotlong community by providing 60 local herdboys with blankets, gumboots and freezersuits.
The handover ceremony took place in Tlaeng — an area located near the mine, which is 70 percent-owned by London-based Gem Diamonds Limited, while the remaining shares belong to the Lesotho government.
According to the mine’s Health, Safety and Environmental Manager, Gerrit Ferreira, the donation was part of Letšeng Diamonds’ way of saying “thank you” to the community.
“Letšeng Diamond Mine (LDM) promotes humanity and goodwill, which is why we are contributing to the Mokhotlong community and quality of life around us,” said Mr Ferreira.
“We, as Letšeng Diamond Mine staff, are fortunate because we work in warm buildings and have good food in our workplace, so we decided to help people around the LDM who do not enjoy similar privileges.
“In addition to serving common good through fulfilling our economic function, the LDM staff also decided to perform this social function.”
Mr Ferreira further noted that achieving social and moral goals was as important as economic success for a business, hence the mine’s donation to the herdboys.
“Your office is very cold because you work in the open, so LDM staff contributed part of their salaries to help you as the community which drives the wealth of the Kingdom of Lesotho in such an environment,” Mr Ferreira said.
The LDM’s approach to corporate social responsibility and investment, he added, was to “establish and maintain strong relationships with local communities, the nation and other stakeholders as part of our mining business strategy”.
Speaking on behalf of the shepherds, Khapesi Tšese thanked the LDM for the “timely” donation.
“It is very cold here, but we have got to be in this freezing environment on a daily basis because this is where we earn our living; this is where we live. We are very grateful to the mine for this timely donation and remembering us during this time of the year,” Mr Tšese said.
The Letšeng Police Station member-in-charge, Inspector Moshe Mafaufau, in his address, urged the herdboys to co-exist with the mine’s operations.
“You must learn to co-exist with the mine since the LDM is caring for you. Stop cutting the LDM fence so you can graze your animals within the mine’s premises,” Inspector Mafaufau said.
Mr Bojara Lenoesa from the Mokhotlong District Administrator’s Office, also asked the herdboys to live “peacefully” with the LDM.
“This mine is now helping you, so we expect you to be cooperative and respectful of its operations,” said Mr Lenoesa.