Mine gets two-year prospecting licence

Mine gets two-year prospecting licence
Mine gets two-year prospecting licence

Africa-Press – Lesotho. THE Ministry of Mining on Monday issued a two-year prospecting licence to Boranta mine in Sekameng Ha Boranta. The mine is expected to start prospecting operations from the first week of April.

Simon Molise, a director with Boranta Mine, said getting the licence had taken him longer than he had expected. “I thought by now we would have made significant progress,” he said.

But they are just about to start work. Molise said he is grateful for the opportunity and he is set to hit the ground running to make up for the lost time.

He said they have already assembled a team that will work closely with the host community. “We are dedicated towards the development of the area,” he said, adding infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water are their main priorities.

‘Mampho Khaile, a councillor in Sekameng, said her residents face numerous challenges on a daily basis.

Despite the presence of social amenities such as a clinic, five primary schools and a high school in the area, Khaile said not much has been done to avail infrastructure like electricity, roads and water.

She said she hopes that with the coming in of the mine into their area, things are set to change. Khaile said the mine had pledged in front of the Minister of Mines Serialong Qoo that it will contribute towards the development of the area.

She said they had promised to provide electricity, water, roads, a kindergarten school and a community hall. Khaile said the community hall would be rented out to raise money for the community.

She said due to roads that had been washed away in the area, pregnant women sometimes give birth before they get to the clinic. The roads are in a terrible state.

Because of a lack of electricity in the area, the clinic has stopped offering delivery services at night. Khaile said their children in schools are suffering because they cannot use electricity- driven technology to learn.

Their phones are always off. The sad reality is that if there is no sun they cannot charge their phones. Khaile said they cannot even blame the teachers for students’ poor performance because they can see that they are also struggling.

She said her people rely on water tanks and rain water. She said they are optimistic because the mine director has been to their area countless times, sharing with them his plans.

Chief ‘Mamokhosi Bogomi said they are expecting residents of Sekameng and the surrounding villages to get jobs when the mine starts operating. “The people of this area need jobs to advance their lives,” the chief said.

She said her subjects also need to see developmental projects in their area. Chief Bogomi said they have been living like orphans for too long. The public relations manager at the Ministry of Mining ’Makananelo Motseko said this is the first time the ministry has host communities.

“We have had conflicts arising between host communities and the mines about their agreements,” Motseko said.

Motseko said this is an effort to try and minimise conflicts because they need more mines and the existing ones should work peacefully with host communities. She said the issuing of prospecting licences to the locals is meant to try and get Basotho to participate significantly in the mining sector.

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