Lucapa, Nominee for Established ESG Leader Award for a Resource Producing Company, 2023 Africa Award
By AAMEG | 6 September 2023
Lucapa is a diamond mining company listed on the ASX and headquartered in Perth. The company operates two mines with local partners and has several development and exploration projects across Africa and Australia. Its mining interests are in the Lulo Alluvial Mine in Angola and the Mothae Kimberlite Mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa.
Lucapa is also exploring for diamonds in Australia, Angola and Botswana, and is conducting a feasibility study into the Merlin Diamond Project in the Northern Territory of Australia.
At the centre of Lucapa’s ESG activities in Kingdom of Lesotho and Angola is social impact. Social impact is not just about allocating money to resolve a problem – it is about listening to the needs of the community and helping people to help themselves to strive for a better life.
Education initiatives are the focus of both of Lucapa’s ESG programs. Educating the next generation is critically important and something the company devotes significant financial and human resources to ensuring the programs are delivered.
This nomination is focused on Lucapa’s education program in Lethoso which fills a specific unmet need in the local community and directly targets female and male scholars to empower them to pursue secondary/higher education. It also has a level of accountability to all stakeholders to ensure that academic performance is maintained though out the program to ensure continued support.
INITIATIVE: “TAKE A CHILD TO SCHOOL” EDUCATION PROGRAM BY LUCAPA’S MOTHAE DIAMOND MINE, KINGDOM OF LESOTHO
The “Take a Child to School” program is now in its fifth year, having commenced in 2019 as “Take a Girl Child to School” sponsoring three local district female students with high school education. The program has expanded to “Take a Child to School”, sponsoring 12 young scholars throughout their high school and tertiary educational journeys.
EXPANDING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL CHILDREN
- The area surrounding the project is home to diamond mines and agriculture, with very little urban development close by. Children generally attend primary school and then must travel to the larger centres in the district to attend high school for a quality education at one of the public or private schools.
- The issue that the community expressed in the consultations with them was that high performing students from the local villages had limited options for high school if their families couldn’t afford to send them to one of the schools in Mokhotlong, or other schools with boarding facilities. Therefore, many students dropped out of mainstream education.
- Initially, the program was about creating scholarships for young females to attend high school. As the program prospered over the period, the number of scholars it supports rose and expanded to include both boys and girls.
- The program has now had the first cohort of scholars go through from year 8 to 11. In addition, the mine is now supporting one of the females to complete a bridging course which will prepare and enable her for further tertiary education from next year.
- The mine also supplies monetary and in-kind prizes for individual academic achievement annually to schools in the district.
FOSTERING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: SCHOLARSHIPS AND SUPPORT INITIATIVES
- The scholars are chosen from local schools based on their year 8 academic results, initially year 7, and those who wish to continue with quality education, which is unaffordable to many from rural villages.
- The company provides financial support in the form of school and boarding fees, uniforms and books.
- Students who are part of the program must maintain their academic achievements. A dedicated Community Officer from Mothae Diamonds acts as a liaison between the mine, the scholar, the teachers, school and parents to ensure that the right support is received to give the student the best chance of a positive outcome.
IMPROVING GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT
- In addition to creating pathways for girls to further their education, the Mothae Diamond Mine itself is a shining example of principles of gender diversity, with about 30% females employed directly by the mine.
- Mothae Diamonds employs 99% Lesotho Nationals throughout the entire workforce.
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