𝐀𝐑𝐓𝐈𝐒𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐌𝐈𝐍𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐈𝐍 𝐊𝐄𝐍𝐘𝐀 𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐋 𝐁𝐄 𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐌𝐈𝐓𝐒, 𝐂𝐒 𝐌𝐕𝐔𝐑𝐘𝐀
The Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs has put in place measures to start granting Artisanal Miners in Kenya permits to operate.
Responding to the question by the Kakamega County Senator Dr. Boni Khalwale, Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya revealed that at the moment all gold mining activities in Kakamega County are carried out by Artisanal Miners who operate informally as they have not been issues with Artisanal Mining Permit as required by law under Section 95 of the Mining Act, 2016.
He said the miners have not been given permits following the imposition of a moratorium by the government on December 2, 2019 stopping the issuance of permits/licenses.
The measures put in place according to CS Mvurya include gazettement of the Kakamega County Artisanal Mining Committee as per section 94 of the Mining Act, 2016.
The Artisanal Mining Committee is composed of members from Artisanal mining in the County.
“All other operators within the County hold Prospecting Licenses while a few have made applications for grant of Mining Licenses over the last few years,” revealed CS Mvurya.
He however reiterated that the licenses have not been processed so far due the prevailing moratorium on issuance of mineral rights.
On stalling of the construction of the gold refinery in Ikolomani Constituency that was commissioned by the County Government of Kakamega in 2021, CS Mvurya said his Ministry initiated a process of identifying an investor for the proposed gold refinery in 2021 although the process could not be completed as the Ministry was advised against it as it did not meet the threshold prescribed Under Section 121(3) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2015.
He however assured the House that his Ministry intends to call for international bids from interested investors to put a gold processing plant in Kakamega adding that the Ministry will work closely with the Kakamega County Government to ensure the project takes off.
On the question of the measures the Government has put in place to promote responsible and sustainable gold mining practices in the County, in light of the many reported accidents in the mines that have resulted in injuries and loss of lives, Hon. Mvurya told the Legislators that his Ministry has intensified efforts to promote mining as the next investment frontier and has received funding from the National Government aimed at implementing projects geared towards promotion of mining and provision of preliminary investment data.
“To ensure that mining is undertaken in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, the Ministry has allocated adequate resources to the Regional Mining Offices and issued instructions for increased inspections and monitoring of Artisanal and small-scale miners,” submitted the CS.
“This will ensure that potentially dangerous operations are closed and the risks identified addressed as a precautionary measure,” he emphasized.
CS Mvurya was responding to questions from Senators at the Turkana County Assembly in Turkana County.