Investors invited to dig up, crush granites

Boniface Lumedi, a stone crusher from Lunyerere in Vihiga County. [Brian Kisanji, Standard]

The national government is looking for an investor to set up a granite factory in Vihiga County.

Residents have pegged their hopes on the project to lift their economic status.

The Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs has already invited expressions of interest from qualified bidders to establish the granite processing plant.

Through the International Expression Of Interest (IEOI) tender, any investor has until September 14 to submit documentation for consideration for the project.

The tender documents are to be delivered to the Principal Secretary of, the State Department for Mining.

Granite is a light-coloured plutonic igneous rock that forms from the slow crystallisation of magma below the earth’s surface.

Its mineral composition gives it a red, pink, grey or white colour, with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.

As per the notice, the identified investor will undertake mining of the granite deposits in Vihiga, which covers an area of over 250 square kilometres in the county’s southern part.

The investor will build, operate and transfer the processing plant to the government following the expiry of the agreed timeline.

The timelines would be determined by the two parties during the request for proposal stage of this two-stage procurement process.

Already, the government has secured project land and developed critical preliminary infrastructure.

In addition, the government will facilitate the acquisition of requisite authorisations and licences for granite mining within proximity to the established plant.

The government has incentives to potential investors, including the provision of a market for the products made from granite.

“Further, in a bid to promote the import substitution agenda, the government will encourage the use of the processed granite slabs in all public construction projects,” reads part of the tender notice.

Due to its rigidity, stability and excellent vibration characteristics, granite minerals can be used in engineering.

Some of the products made from the mineral are tiles and terrazzo.

In 2018, Governor Wilber Ottichilo's administration acquired a 10-acre land at Buyangu in Emuhaya sub-county where the plant will be established.

The land was later donated by the county government to the national government, with the latter promising to look for an investor.