A baseline heritage report on a site selection process for a proposed new tailings storage facility at the Letseng Diamond Mine in Lesotho


Archaetnos cc was appointed GCS to conduct a baseline heritage study for the site selection process for a proposed new Tailings Storage Facility at the Letseng Diamond Mine in Lesotho. Three sites were identified by the mine and these were surveyed. The mine is located in the north-east of Lesotho approximately 25 km to the east of the Kwazulu-Natal border (RSA), 34 km to the west of Cathedral Peak and 38 km to the north-west of the town of Mokhotlong in Lesotho.

The fieldwork undertaken revealed seven sites of cultural heritage significance – three of these in site number 1, three in site number 3 and one in site number 4 (site number 2 was excluded from the survey). These are associated with the recent past and some are even still in use. This brings some social issues to the table which needs to be considered by the mine.

From a cultural heritage perspective there is no real reason for making a distinction between any of these sites. However, the preferred site, site number 4, is chosen due to it only having one cultural heritage site and since it has already been disturbed to a large extent. This site may be used, pending further legal processes and the necessary social consultation indicated in this report.

Report by

Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)