A report by the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, Salim Mvurya, on Monday, March 13, revealed that Kenya has deposits of 970 minerals.
The CS made the revelation after the conclusion of a country-wide airborne geophysical survey.
“This number is likely to increase at the completion of a survey of the entire country landmass,
“There is a need for field-based physical checks that will aid in building more global exploration models and that’s why from next week we will have our officers in these counties to ascertain the minerals found in them,” CS Mvurya stated in a statement.
The 15 counties with the highest potential for mineral extraction are Kitui, Embu, Tana River, Kilifi, Isiolo, and Makueni.
Others are Taita-Taveta, Kwale, Homa Bay, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, and Kericho.
The minerals include gemstones, rare earth, and radioactive minerals.
Based on Kenya's potential, the CS divulged the government’s intention to empower artisanal miners.
He intimated that, “We want to help the artisanal members to form cooperative societies.”
This will help in training for sustainable mining and help them do business and earn a living.
He mentioned that the ministry is keen to expedite the development of mining through sectoral reforms. This is so that it improves the country’s economy and improves the lives of miners.
Some of the reforms include the value addition of minerals and mapping out mining zones.
Mvurya noted that the government has already set up county and regional mining offices in 18 counties where mining activity is already established.
Additionally, he noted that mining royalties will be distributed in line with the Mining Act of 2016.
The law states that mining royalties are divided on a 70-20-10 basis; 70% for the national government, 20% for county governments, and 10% for communities.
On the 10% for communities, he maintained that the ministry has set up a task force to develop regulations that will be used by the end of March 2023.
According to the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), the mining sector contributes only 1% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
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