State revokes 67 mining licenses in Turkana

Business
By Lucas Ngasike | May 20, 2024
Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The government has revoked 67 mining and prospecting licenses in Turkana County and told investors to apply afresh.

Speaking in Lodwar during a tour of Lake Turkana on Monday, Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya noted that some of the mining licenses had expired and there was a need to have them removed from the system.

The CS asked investors to re-apply for new mining and prospecting licenses saying some had acquired them unprocedurally.

“We urge investors who are interested in carrying out mining activities in the area to apply afresh. We urge them to follow the law since we discovered that some of their documentation did not meet the requirement as per law,” he said.

Mvurya said Turkana has abundant minerals including gemstones, industrial and construction minerals and gold deposits that can be exploited to benefit the country and improve the economic livelihoods of the community.

He revealed that they sent a team in March 2023 to map out mineral deposits in Turkana and they came up with a positive report, which will be shared with the county government.

Mvurya said they are working with the county government to woo investors to ensure value addition for minerals in the region.

He announced that they will construct a lab for testing and sampling minerals in Turkana and staff will be deployed and vehicles procured to assist in mobility.

The CS warned of stern action against illegal miners across the country.

“We shall firmly deal with investors who fail to follow the procedures and the law and close their mining sites. We will not condone illegal mining across the country,” he said.

Mvurya said the government will enlist the artisanal miners in Naduat into cooperative societies and already five cooperative societies were in operation in the region.

“We shall organise and register more artisanal miners and incorporate them into cooperative societies for the purposes of training and access funding. This is a new revolution and reforms we have come to announce in Turkana,” he said.

The CS assured that the national and county governments will work together on licensing of miners in the region.

To enhance mining potential in the region, Mvurya said the government has trained and gazetted an artisanal mining committee in Turkana that will be issuing mining permits to small-scale miners including quarry.

The CS announced that it will be mandatory for investors to first pay 20 per cent royalties before proceeding with mining.

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