Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition

Large-Scale Diamond Mining in Lesotho: Unpacking its Impact on Adjacent Communities

This report is part of a pan-African research project called Grassroots research on local diamond mining impact which was run in eight countries by ten African member organisations from the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition.

In Lesotho, the Maluti Community Development Forum (MCDF) investigated the impact of large-scale diamond mining on adjacent communities. Over a period of two months in 2021, civil society surveyors collected observations from 19 villages located near five diamond mining companies in Lesotho’s Maluti Mountain area (Mokhotlong district, Butha-Buthe district and Mafeteng district). They reported environmental pollution (dust, poor water quality), the lack of employment opportunities and insufficient Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) measures by diamond mining companies as key issues. The study also revealed alarmingly high levels of nitrate in water samples taken near the Letseng mine tailing sites, that link to key water sources in Letseng and Maloraneng villages.

In its recommendations, the study calls on the government and mining companies to address and prevent the adverse impacts of diamond mining in the country. This includes upholding the highest environmental and human rights standards in due diligence and operational processes and engaging in meaningful consultation processes with communities affected by large-scale diamond mining operations in the country.

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union to the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition. The content of this document is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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