Canadian firm seeks gold in western Kenya
By JOHN NJIRAINI
Canadian firm Linear Metals Corp has joined the scramble for gold exploration fields in Western Kenya following the discovery of huge deposits in the area.
The company has announced the acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in three gold fields in the Migori Greenstone Belt in Western Kenya at a cost of Sh24 million.
The three fields that cover an area of 457 square kilometres were previously controlled by East African Pure Gold and B&M Mining Company.
"We look forward to commence exploration programme on these prospective properties as soon as possible," said Brian MacEachen, the Chief Executive of Linear Metals. He said the company plans to invest Sh320 million in exploration activities in the area which studies have show is endowed with huge gold deposits.
The Migori Greenstone Belt forms part of the Archean Nyanza Greenstone Belt that extends to neighbouring Tanzania. Its geological features are similar to the Gold Reef in Johannesburg, South Africa, and others in Western Australia and Northern Canada that are known to have gold and other minerals.
Only recently, a British company Goldplat that has over the past three years been prospecting for commercially viable gold in Lolgorian area of Trans Mara, which is part of the Archean Belt, discovered gold deposits that could earn the country Sh400 million annually.
The company, which is operating in Kenya as Goldplat Kilimapesa Project, discovered gold deposits estimated to be between 40,000 ounces (oz) and 60,000 ounces. An ounce is the unit of measuring gold with one ounce equaling 28.34 grammes (0.02835kg) with a mining lifespan of up to 15 years.
MacEachen observed that Kenya’s mineral sector has not be fully been exploited like in Tanzania and Uganda, largely because of lack of modern laws to govern the sector.
The current Mining Act, which dates back to the 1940s, has been termed as major block in the development of the mining industry.
However, efforts are ongoing to present a new Mining Bill in Parliament, while the process of developing a mining policy is in high gears.
"Kenya has significant growth potential for mineral exploration and mining and its encouraging to note the Kenyan government is updating mining laws, something that will attract further investment in the sector," he said.
Besides Linear Metals and Goldplat, other foreign companies that are angling for a fortune from the resource in Migori, Homa Bay, Trans Mara and Narok include Red Rock Resources, Aviva Mining, Abba Mining, Afri-All Company and Mid-Migori.
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When Njonjo almost resigned over coffee smugglersKnown as the era of black gold, it began in 1976 when Ugandan farmers decided to sell their coffee in the private market.
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