Conflicts blamed on unlawful mining

Raw products of Titanium after being mined in Kwale. [File, Standard]
Illegal miners have been blamed for the conflicts that have rocked the sector.

Regional geologist Sarah Bungei accused the illegal diggers of encroaching on mines.

Ms Bungei, who was addressing a meeting called to discuss conflicts between groups of gemstone miners at Kuranze in Kinango sub-county, urged mine workers to adhere to best practices. 

"Encroachment of mines by illegal and unprofessional miners is a major cause of conflicts that have rocked the sector. This must stop," Bungei said.

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She added: "I also call on miners to always consult the department of mining and geology for consent and professional advice before setting out to dig out the gemstones. This will give the Government a chance to ensure professionalism. The ministry will also ensure there is no encroachment."

Resolve differences

Puma MCA James Dawa said conflicts between local miners were threatening security.

“I urge miners to follow the law and to amicably resolve their differences to avoid unnecessary conflicts,” said Mr Dawa.

He added: "Let us all work together to develop the mining sector, which has the potential to grow the economy of our county. I also urge the miners to put their differences aside and work together for the greater good. They should recognise the leadership of their respective associations and address their issues through them."

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The meeting nearly degenerated into chaos as the miners traded accusations, with the large-scale miners accusing their small-scale colleagues of stealing gemstones from their mines. But the small operators accused them of trying to edge them out of the business.

Kwale CountyMineral DepositsExploitation