The Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, has identified a total of 970 mineral occurrences across the 47 counties, during the nationwide airborne geophysical survey that has been concluded.
Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, Salim Mvurya, said after the conclusion of the data truthing of confirming the minerals, his Ministry will undertake ground truthing on various minerals among them copper, graphite, manganese, iron ore, coltan, base metals, nickel chromite, base metal, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium and thorium.
He said the minerals have been discovered in 15 counties, which include Kitui, Embu, Tana River, Kilifi, Isiolo, Makueni, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Homabay, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi and Kericho.
“The Ministry will roll-out the exercise of ground truthing next week, where officers will visit the 15 counties for confirmation of the minerals. The exercise is expected to end in April before proceeding to other counties,” said Mvurya.
The CS was briefing the media in his office at Public Works Building, after holding a meeting with Governors from the 15 Counties where minerals have been identified, to discuss on the key reforms and the plans the government has put in place regarding mining.
Mvurya said the government has established County and Regional mining offices in 18 counties, where mining activities are concentrated, of which they are expected to provide a linkage with the counties
He said the government aim of undertaking the nationwide airborne geophysical survey project, to protect the data integrity, control flow of information, and to have geological data of sufficient quality and resolution to attract inwards investments by mineral exploration and mining companies.
“The companies will ideally use the preliminary data to undertake site-scale local mineral investigations to further develop the prospectively analysis of an area,” added the CS.
He at the same time announced that his ministry is in the process of reviving the functioning of the artisanal mining committees in various counties who play the role of issuing permits and functionalizing mining activities at their local level.
“We want to help the artisanal members to form cooperative societies,” said Mvurya.
On the sharing of mineral royalties, the CS said the National Government will receive 70 percent, County Government 20 percent, while the communities will get 10 percent.
“With regard to the 10 percent share to communities, the ministry constituted a taskforce that is set to develop the regulations by the end of March 2023.Counties will be engaged for their comments on the Draft regulations before they are adopted,” said Mvurya.
He at the same time announced that the Ministry of Mining has identified a number of interventions that will accelerate the sectors’ pivotal role in contributing to improvement of livelihoods and quality of life through value chain approach, mining sector reforms, delineation of artisanal mining zones and strengthening of stakeholder institutions in the mining sector.
“The mining sector, if well managed and properly regulated will create jobs, expand the tax base, improve Kenya’s foreign exchange balance and contribute effectively to inclusive growth which is in line with the Kenya Kwanza transformative agenda,” he added.
By Bernadette Khaduli