For many years Lesotho has been exporting raw diamonds instead of processing it at home.
Now, inspired by Botswana’s model, it is considering processing the diamonds at home before export, according to local news reports. In light of this, it has planned a visit to Botswana to learn a thing or two about the whole process.
“You will recall that we are establishing a diamond centre and the Botswana visit aims to benchmark our operations against their model,” Lesotho’s minister of Mining Keketso Sello.
He added: “I must say I was impressed by what Botswana has achieved in managing their diamonds. The transparency and professionalism in which they handle the whole selling process is impressive.”
The centre will evaluate diamonds for determining levies and taxes, facilitate exports and imports and be a platform for selling and buying diamonds as well as collecting royalties on behalf of government. It would also be mandated to issue licenses for cutting and polishing diamonds.
Diamond is one of Lesotho’s popular natural resources. In 2018, the fifth largest diamond in the world was discovered in Letseng mine and weighed 910 carats.