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THE ECONOMIC IMPACT
OF MAJOR DAMS AND
MINES IN LESOTHO.
INTRODUCTION
 Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom and encircled by
South-Africa, is not only celebrated for its breathtaking
landscapes and rich cultural heritage but has also embarked on
significant infrastructural developments, particularly in the sectors
of dams and mining.
 These developments are crucial as they aim to boost the nation’s
economy, provide jobs, and improve the overall living standards
of its people.
 One of the most worthy developmental projects in Lesotho is the
construction of large dams, spear headed by initiatives like the
Lesotho Highlands Water projects (LHWP). This project, started
in the 1980s, is a multi-phased effort involving Lesotho and
South-Africa.
KATSE DAM
 Constructed as part of the the Lesotho Highlands Water
Project(LHWP), Katse dam is one of Africa’s largest dams and
cornerstone in ambitious plan to transfer water to South Africa
while generating hydroelectric power. Completed in 1996, it
significantly contributes to the region’s economic stability by
providing water and renewable energy.
 The primarily business for the construction of Katse dam is to
supply South Africa with water but Lesotho can maximize on the
venture and cost effectively utilize the water for Agriculture
purposes especially through drip irrigation.
 The water resource can also boost tourist ventures.
MOHALE DAM
 Also part of the LHWP, Mohale dam complements the
Katse dam by storing and diverting water through a netwok
of tunnels. It was completed in 2002, and like Katse, it
plays a critical role in regional water management and
energy production.
 It was believed that since this dam and rivers occurred at
elevations of between 2000m and 2900m above sea level,
there was minimal anthropogenic pollution.
 The purpose of the dam and water transfer project was to
provide water to Gauteng region of South Africa and
electricity to Lesotho.
’MUELA DAM
 Serving primarily as a hydroelectric power
station, it was build to utilize the water
transferred by Katse dam and Mohale dams.
Commissioned in 1998, the dam supports local
communities with power and has implications
for sustainable development in Lesotho.
 ‘Muela dam is a 72MW hydro power project. It
is located on Nqoe river in basin Butha-Buthe
district, Lesotho. It is double curvature concrete
arc dam, build on sand stone.
 The dam has an ogee spillway and cascade
stilling basin for energy dissipation.
POLIHALI DAM
 A proposed additional to the LHWP, the
Polihali dam aims to increase water transfer to
South Africa and generate additional
hydroelectric power.
 This project is pivotal as it represents future
growth in Lesotho’s hydraulic engineering
capabilities and its economic ties with South
Africa.
 This dissertation explores the reason behind
the impasse over the implementation of the
LHWP II between communities affected by the
construction of the Polihali dam in
Mokhotlong district in Lesotho. It is still on
the construction.
LIQHOBONG DIAMOND MINE
 Diamond mining in the rural highlands of Lesotho
has taken different forms over the past century:
unregulated diamond digging by locals and
“migrant” diggers in the early 1950s; regulated
diamond mining by estate sponsored diamond
cooperative from 1978 onwards; and a
commercial diamond mining company from 1996
onwards.
 Known for its largest deposits and frequent
recovery of high value stones, it is the key player
in Lesotho’s mining industry.
 Its operation are pivotal for local employment and
technological engagement in mining practices.
MOTHAE DIAMOND MINE
 It is located close to the famous Let’seng mine, Mothae has
recently been developed to increase its extraction capacity,
focusing on uncovering large and high quality diamond, and
enhancing Lesotho’s reputation in the global diamond market.
 The diamond mine is located 135km east northeast of the
capital Maseru and approximately 7km north west of the
Letseng diamond mine.
 The project geology is characterized by the intrusion of the
volcaniclastic Mothae kimberlite into the amygdaloidal
Mesozoic Drakensberg Group flood basalt.
KAO DIAMOND MINE
 As the largest diamond producing mine in Lesotho,
Kao is significant both for its scale and for the size of
diamonds it produces. The mine has contributed
robustly to the national economy through exports and
has been a major an employment for locals.
 Storm mountain diamonds jointly owned by Namakwa
diamonds limited and the government of Lesotho, has
recovered a 108.39 carat fancy pink diamond at its
Kao mine in the South Africa country.
 The diamond is one the largest pink roughs ever found
in Africa, which include the “Lulo Rose”, 170 carat
precious stone.
LET’SENG DIAMOND MINE
 Remarkable for producing some of the world’s most
extraordinary and largest germ-quality diamond, Let’seng excels
in economic yield per carat rather than volume, making it one of
the most valuable mines globally
 The Let’seng la Terai Kimberlites are situated 3100m above sea
level in the Maloti mountains of Lesotho South Africa.
 The principal economic bodies are two late cretaceous, low grade
1-3.5 hundred ton.
LET’SENG DIAMOND PICTURE
CONCLUSION
 Lesotho’s strategic development of its dam and mining
infrastructure has turned natural resources into pillars of
economic stability and growth. The dams not only
support agriculture and provide water to South Africa but
also generate substantial hydroelectric power, aiding in
rural electrification and sustainable development.
 Similarly, the mining industry, especial in diamonds,
positions Lesotho as a significant player in the global
market, focusing on specialized , high value production.
 As these sectors expand and evolve, they promise to
enhance the quality of live in Lesotho and strengthen its
economic relationships with international markets.
REFERENCES
Makhetha E. (2017).The rise and fall of Liqhobong diamond and
mine cooperative. Anthropology Southern Africa. 40(3) page 195-
196[Accessed on April 2024]
Lehema R.E. (2020). Constructing of Polihali dam. PQDT
Global.[Accessed 26 April 2024]
Devitt P. & Robert K. (2010) The case of Lesotho dams. African
study Monographs. 31(2) Page 57-106[Accessed on 27 April 2024]
Tawanda M.et al.(2020). An economic transformation of all dams
and mining. International Journal of all research writing. 2 (3) page
87-91[Accessed on 30 April 2024]
Hein B. et al.(1997). The ‘Muela hydropower station. 120(5), 43-
53[Accessed on 30 April 2024]

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The impact development on dams and mines

  • 1. THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF MAJOR DAMS AND MINES IN LESOTHO.
  • 2. INTRODUCTION  Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom and encircled by South-Africa, is not only celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage but has also embarked on significant infrastructural developments, particularly in the sectors of dams and mining.  These developments are crucial as they aim to boost the nation’s economy, provide jobs, and improve the overall living standards of its people.  One of the most worthy developmental projects in Lesotho is the construction of large dams, spear headed by initiatives like the Lesotho Highlands Water projects (LHWP). This project, started in the 1980s, is a multi-phased effort involving Lesotho and South-Africa.
  • 3. KATSE DAM  Constructed as part of the the Lesotho Highlands Water Project(LHWP), Katse dam is one of Africa’s largest dams and cornerstone in ambitious plan to transfer water to South Africa while generating hydroelectric power. Completed in 1996, it significantly contributes to the region’s economic stability by providing water and renewable energy.  The primarily business for the construction of Katse dam is to supply South Africa with water but Lesotho can maximize on the venture and cost effectively utilize the water for Agriculture purposes especially through drip irrigation.  The water resource can also boost tourist ventures.
  • 4. MOHALE DAM  Also part of the LHWP, Mohale dam complements the Katse dam by storing and diverting water through a netwok of tunnels. It was completed in 2002, and like Katse, it plays a critical role in regional water management and energy production.  It was believed that since this dam and rivers occurred at elevations of between 2000m and 2900m above sea level, there was minimal anthropogenic pollution.  The purpose of the dam and water transfer project was to provide water to Gauteng region of South Africa and electricity to Lesotho.
  • 5. ’MUELA DAM  Serving primarily as a hydroelectric power station, it was build to utilize the water transferred by Katse dam and Mohale dams. Commissioned in 1998, the dam supports local communities with power and has implications for sustainable development in Lesotho.  ‘Muela dam is a 72MW hydro power project. It is located on Nqoe river in basin Butha-Buthe district, Lesotho. It is double curvature concrete arc dam, build on sand stone.  The dam has an ogee spillway and cascade stilling basin for energy dissipation.
  • 6. POLIHALI DAM  A proposed additional to the LHWP, the Polihali dam aims to increase water transfer to South Africa and generate additional hydroelectric power.  This project is pivotal as it represents future growth in Lesotho’s hydraulic engineering capabilities and its economic ties with South Africa.  This dissertation explores the reason behind the impasse over the implementation of the LHWP II between communities affected by the construction of the Polihali dam in Mokhotlong district in Lesotho. It is still on the construction.
  • 7. LIQHOBONG DIAMOND MINE  Diamond mining in the rural highlands of Lesotho has taken different forms over the past century: unregulated diamond digging by locals and “migrant” diggers in the early 1950s; regulated diamond mining by estate sponsored diamond cooperative from 1978 onwards; and a commercial diamond mining company from 1996 onwards.  Known for its largest deposits and frequent recovery of high value stones, it is the key player in Lesotho’s mining industry.  Its operation are pivotal for local employment and technological engagement in mining practices.
  • 8. MOTHAE DIAMOND MINE  It is located close to the famous Let’seng mine, Mothae has recently been developed to increase its extraction capacity, focusing on uncovering large and high quality diamond, and enhancing Lesotho’s reputation in the global diamond market.  The diamond mine is located 135km east northeast of the capital Maseru and approximately 7km north west of the Letseng diamond mine.  The project geology is characterized by the intrusion of the volcaniclastic Mothae kimberlite into the amygdaloidal Mesozoic Drakensberg Group flood basalt.
  • 9. KAO DIAMOND MINE  As the largest diamond producing mine in Lesotho, Kao is significant both for its scale and for the size of diamonds it produces. The mine has contributed robustly to the national economy through exports and has been a major an employment for locals.  Storm mountain diamonds jointly owned by Namakwa diamonds limited and the government of Lesotho, has recovered a 108.39 carat fancy pink diamond at its Kao mine in the South Africa country.  The diamond is one the largest pink roughs ever found in Africa, which include the “Lulo Rose”, 170 carat precious stone.
  • 10. LET’SENG DIAMOND MINE  Remarkable for producing some of the world’s most extraordinary and largest germ-quality diamond, Let’seng excels in economic yield per carat rather than volume, making it one of the most valuable mines globally  The Let’seng la Terai Kimberlites are situated 3100m above sea level in the Maloti mountains of Lesotho South Africa.  The principal economic bodies are two late cretaceous, low grade 1-3.5 hundred ton.
  • 12. CONCLUSION  Lesotho’s strategic development of its dam and mining infrastructure has turned natural resources into pillars of economic stability and growth. The dams not only support agriculture and provide water to South Africa but also generate substantial hydroelectric power, aiding in rural electrification and sustainable development.  Similarly, the mining industry, especial in diamonds, positions Lesotho as a significant player in the global market, focusing on specialized , high value production.  As these sectors expand and evolve, they promise to enhance the quality of live in Lesotho and strengthen its economic relationships with international markets.
  • 13. REFERENCES Makhetha E. (2017).The rise and fall of Liqhobong diamond and mine cooperative. Anthropology Southern Africa. 40(3) page 195- 196[Accessed on April 2024] Lehema R.E. (2020). Constructing of Polihali dam. PQDT Global.[Accessed 26 April 2024] Devitt P. & Robert K. (2010) The case of Lesotho dams. African study Monographs. 31(2) Page 57-106[Accessed on 27 April 2024] Tawanda M.et al.(2020). An economic transformation of all dams and mining. International Journal of all research writing. 2 (3) page 87-91[Accessed on 30 April 2024] Hein B. et al.(1997). The ‘Muela hydropower station. 120(5), 43- 53[Accessed on 30 April 2024]