Trade & Investment

Diamond Mining

'Lesotho Promise' Diamond

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.

In 2006, an agreement was concluded between the Lesotho Government and Kao Diamond Mine Ltd, regarding a Mining Agreement and Lease diamond operation in one of the largest of several kimberlite pipes in Lesotho, the 20ha Kao pipe. Other diamond mines are also in existence.