The southern African nation of Lesotho is preparing a new law which would ensure that at least 51% of the shares in local diamond mines would be owned by native citizens, and that foreign diamond companies cannot own more 49% of the shares in them, Rough and Polished reported.
Foreign firms which will be affected by the new legislation include Namakwa Diamonds – majority stakeholders in the Kao mine – and Gem Diamond – 70% stakeholders in the Letseng mine.
Newly elected Prime Minister of Lesotho Tom Thabane said that the motivation for the new proposed law is that although the country has many diamonds, it is not significantly profiting from their mining. He said that the merits of the law are still being debated, and that in any case its effects would be restricted to the mining sector. A similar law in Zimbabwe affected other industries in addition to mining, according to Rough and Polished.