Water is Lesotho's most important natural assest as well as being the country's largest single source of foreign exchange earnings and otherwise known as 'White Gold'. Lesotho is one of the most important catchment areas in southern Africa. Rainfall together with winter snowfalls provides an estimated 5.5 billion cubic metres of water annually, and renewable groundwater resources some 340 million cubic metres a year.
Trade & Investment
Lesotho is a country paving a new path for development, one that successfully takes into account social as well as economic factors. With duty and quota free access to regional and global markets, the successful development of its apparel and textile industry and an upcoming branding initiative to make 'Made in Lesotho' a global trademark, Lesotho is fast becoming an African investment destination of choice, while still maintaining fair and ethical labour standards.
Sandstone Deposits are found all over Lesotho and can be exported in different forms and thicknesses. The whole industry is in the capable hands of small artisans with limited investment capabilities.
In Lesotho, sandstone is extensively used in the construction of residential houses, office buildings, commercial complexes, hotels, restaurants and special monuments. The demand for sandstone slabs and tiles as well as veneering stones has been increasing and different applications and designs are being made. For example, sandstone fireplaces are a very attractive furnishing option.
Joint venture partnerships are encouraged with local companies, which cannot only create value addition, but also generate employment and earn foreign exchange for the country, while reviving the talent of artisans in a significant manner.
In present-day Lesotho, the exploitation of diamonds occurs in the Maluti range of mountains in the north-east of the country. Lesotho has several diamond mines as well as two diamond cutting enterprises.
The Lets'eng Diamond Mine, jointly owned by the Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa and the Lesotho government, reopened in 2003 and is the highest diamond mine in the world, at over 3km above sea level. The mine produces the highest proportion of large stones of any mine in the world and is famous for its high quality 100 plus carat stones. In 2006, the biggest diamond to be found in 13 years, the "Lesotho Promise," at 603 carat (120 grams) was found at Lets'eng. This was the 10th largest white diamond ever to be found in the world.