State in plans to restore investor confidence in mining projects

Abandoned mine in Kandundu area, Murang'a. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

Mining PS Elijah Mwangi has said the government is committed to streamlining the lucrative mining sector to unlock its full potential through the Mining Act of 2016.

Mwangi said the mining law replaced the Mining Act Cap. 306 of 1940 will provide policy stability, promote good mining, restore investors’ confidence and spur investment in the industry.

He said the extractive sector contributes significant revenue to the National Treasury.

Mwangi said the Treasury will soon release mineral royalties amounting to billions of shillings to the counties and communities where mining occurs.

The Mining Act 2016 requires royalties paid by a holder of mineral rights to be shared by the national and county governments and communities on a percentage of 70-20-10, respectively.

“Kwale county has the highest allocation of royalty sharing from the national government,” Mwangi said.

The PS spoke when he led members of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining on a Base Titanium Kwale Mine Site tour.

The committee’s vice-chairperson, Charles Kamuren, who is also the Baringo South legislator, led the team of MPs.

Also on the team were Commissioner of Mines and Geology Raymond Mutiso, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) Deputy Director Field Operations Robert Orina and Director of Ecological Restoration Erick Akotsi, among senior government officials.

Kamuren said his committee believes Kenyans should be able to benefit from the country’s mineral resources and be empowered to participate in exploration activities.

The MP encouraged mining firms to add value to their products before it is shipped out, saying this would benefit Kenya in job creation, income generation and poverty eradication ventures.

Base Titanium’s External Affairs Manager Dr Melba Wasunna, who received the delegation, said the Kwale- based Australian mining firm hoped the government would lift the moratorium on mining licences to pave the way for explorations and possible expansion of its operations in Kenya.

The freeze on the issuance of licenses was put in place in 2019 to pave the way for large-scale mapping of the mineral deposits.