Mmegi Online :: Doom In Lerala As DiamonEx Mine Ceases Operations
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Last Updated
Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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Doom In Lerala As DiamonEx Mine Ceases Operations

SELEBI-PHIKWE: DiamonEx's Lerala mine has never made any profit because of disappointing results from its first sale.
By Staff Writer Tue 20 Nov 2018, 20:32 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Doom In Lerala As DiamonEx Mine Ceases Operations








The mine's opening coincided with the world economic crunch and the company was left without any choice but to seek permission to be placed under judicial management from the High Court.

The move means that DiamonEx has been granted a period of immunity from claims by its creditors.

The company's trading of shares has also been suspended from Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE). The fate of the mine has affected the Lerala community and residents of surrounding villages. Some residents quit their previous jobs to work in the mine but now they have been laid-off.

The expected economic boom and spin-offs associated with the mine will not come to pass until the company recovers from the crises and starts mining again. There has been no production at the mine since early January and employees have not resumed work.

The chief of Lerala village, Sello Moroka has said that he knows that there is a problem and he is waiting for the mine authorities to officially inform him about the situation.

"It helped to create employment for the local people and if it can collapse then it is going to be a problem.

"I just heard that employees have been given annual unpaid leave. As villagers, we are beginning to become doubtful whether the employees will be able to pay rentals or what.

"Most of them had already bought cars through bank loans and embarked on other projects hence they are likely to be in trouble with those commercial banks

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at the end of the day," the chief said.

The mine employees filed a petition to Minerals, Energy and Water Minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe saying that they fear there is no guarantee that all the affected workers will be recalled if the mine starts operating again.

They claimed that there is no proper consultation by management and that there has never been any employer-employee meeting since the mine started operation.

The workers claimed that some of them who are on medication for chronic illnesses have not been registered for medical aid as per the agreement with the mine. This has denied them use of certain medical facilities and hence they have missed taking crucial medication.

DiamonEx plant manager Felicity Itlhobogeng said because the company is under judicial management, all workers including the top managers will cease being employees by Friday this week. She said the judicial managers will inform them on the packages.

"The future is just uncertain for us at the mine because we do not know if we will be recalled if things improve."

She dismissed employees' claims that some of them have not been registered for medical aid.

She said every employee is on medical aid, which is compulsory in the company. "In fact they had the right to choose medical aids of their choice and they did."

She stressed that there has been proper consultations between the employer and the employees. She said that employees were briefed by the board chairman about the situation.

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