Lerala is a village in Central District
. The village is located at the south-eastern end of the Tswapong Hills
, from the Limpopo River
and the border with South Africa
and approximately east of Palapye
. The population of Lerala was 6,871 in the 2011 census, which was a 20.5% increase from the 2001 population.
company, DiamonEx Limited
, opened a diamond
mine north-west of the village. The mine initially known as Martins Drift Diamond Project opened early 2008 and was to employ 230–290 people to produce an estimated per year.
Previously a joint company between De Beers
and the Botswana government operated between 1998–2001 a smaller exploratory diamond mine at the same site. In February 2009 the mine was placed under Judicial Management due to very high operational costs and the world economic crunch. The company then had to seek permission to be placed under judicial management from the High Court. DiamonEx, which had already been listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) also had the trading of their shares suspended as a consequence. In 2011, a UK based diamond company Mantle Diamonds bought the Lerala mine from DiamonEx Botswana which was in financial difficulties due to the global economic crisis. In 2014, the Lerala Mine changed ownership again after another Australian company, Kimberly Diamonds acquired Mantle Diamonds. The mine started operating in August 2015. By May 2017 Lerala Diamond Mines Limited, the Botswana-based subsidiary of Kimberly Diamonds Limited, was placed under judicial management, after being forced to suspend operations, because of inability to source the required funds to continue its operations. The mine was being closed for the third time in its history, after closures in February 2009 and also in July 2012.
Category:Populated places in Central District (Botswana)
Category:Villages in Botswana