HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 cc49-50W
Mr. Bottomley

asked the Secretary of Slate for the Colonies what action is being taken to investigate the diamond resources of Basutoland; what was the diamond production of the Colony in each of the last three years; what are the terms of the agreement of 1955 between the Paramount Chief and Colonel J. Scott; and what revenue has been derived from the activities of Colonel Scott over the last three years.

Mr. Fisher

Overseas Geological Surveys have recently carried out a survey of Basutoland. An interim report suggests that while small scale operations are likely to continue to be productive no dramatic developments are to be expected. Diamond production was 1677 carats (£30,300) in 1961; 4521 carats (£94,166) in 1962;and 5046 carats (£70,653) in 1963.An agreement made in 1955 with the Paramount Chief gave Colonel J. Scott prospecting rights throughout Basutoland for payments of £200 a month and royalties at a rate not exceeding 10 per cent. of sale value. Further conditions in the agreement laid down the terms which would be applicable in the event of the discovery of Alluvial diamonds or of a diamond pipe. The revenue derived from Colonel Scott's activities over the last three years was approximately £8,300.

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