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Bamburi cement set to launch shale mine project in Kwale

Bamburi Cement Ltd is set to launch a multimillion shillings shale mining factory in Matuga sub county of Kwale.

The cement manufacturer has been undertaking exploration and prospecting of shale (clayey materials compacted into rocks over time) in Kwale since 2018.

Bamburi Cement Ltd outgoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Seddiq Hassani and the incoming CEO Mohit Kapoor revealed the company’s plans when the duo led a team on a courtesy call on area Governor Fatuma Achani.

Bamburi Cement appointed Kapoor as new CEO effective April 1 following resignation of Seddiq Hassani after five years at the helm.

The team visited the county headquarters to brief the local leadership on the steps made on land acquisition processes to set up the shale mining factory.

Mr. Hassani said the Bamburi Cement industrial strategy is to scale up business in the South coast and establish a 5,000 ton capacity per day clinker plant.

He said the cement company has already developed a livelihood restoration programme for all those who will be affected by the shale mining project, and has set guidelines for their compensation and relocation.

The company says the Kundutsi sub location, Matuga sub county area has been identified as a key source of raw material.

Shale material, which is to be mined at Kundutsi Sub Location, will then be transported 10-17Km via Matuga to Magandia existing road through Waa to Ngombeni Sub Location for clinker production.

The proposed shale mining location is approximately 700 acres of land currently owned by local communities who are practicing maize, cassava, mango and coconut farming in the area.

Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that forms from the compaction of silt and clay-size mineral particles that we commonly call “mud.” It is used as an additive to lime during production of a categorized quality of cement product (value addition).

The company says no crushing will take place on site, but will be transported to the proposed clinker plant at Ngombeni.

Earth Resource Exploration Ltd that carried out an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report recommended to the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) the go ahead to issue the project license.

The purpose of the assessment is to identify potential positive and negative environmental impacts associated with the proposed project and provide recommendations on how to take advantage of the positive impacts on one hand and mitigate the negative environmental impacts on the other.

The proposed shale quarry is expected to provide about 20 per cent of the total resource material for the clinker production process.

Governor Achani said they are positive about the company’s investment in Kwale and invite other investors to come and explore the many untapped opportunities in the county.

“Strengthening the business environment and making it conducive for investments is our top priority,” she said.

Achani assured local and international investors of a conducive business environment and restated the commitment of her administration to ensure support for companies willing to invest in the county.

Governor Achani says that her administration was committed to ensuring the success of all kinds of investors in the coastal county.

“As a devolved unit we are taking calculated steps to make Kwale investors’ choice in the country,” she said.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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