Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (centre) holds a carrier bag with Sh1.4m which was donated by the national government to families which lost their loved ones following a tragic accident in Kaburengu. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

Multi-national companies are showing interest in gold mining business in Kenya after the government agreed to the setting up of a processing plant in Kakamega County.

The plant will serve miners from Siaya, Kakamega, Migori, Kisii and Vihiga counties.

Lirhanda corridor

Different investors have submitted their bids for gold mining licence along the Lirhanda corridor that has over 1.31 million ounces of gold deposits valued at Sh171 billion.

Already, the county has a 10-acre land for construction of the factory at Lidambiza in Ikolomani sub-County. The title deed has been given to Mining and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes.

The national government has also provided Sh50 million for fencing off the land.

The latest to show interest in the gold mining business is Bai Yuehwa, a Chinese investor who visited the site yesterday accompanied by governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

“I am appealing to the government to give me the opportunity to fast track gold mining in this county. If I get this opportunity, I will ensure local residents get majority of the jobs at the factory,” Bai said.

Shown interest

London-based Shanta Mining Company has also shown interest in constructing the factory.

Governor Oparanya said his administration was keen on engaging an investor who will construct and operationalise the factory within six months.

“A processing factory in Kakamega will boost to our local economy because miners from other counties will bring gold here,” Oparanya said.