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Plan underway to establish soapstone value addition centre

By Erick Abuga | May 29th 2019
Kisii Governor James Ongwae (right) hands over an Elephant Soapstone Carving to Ministry of Petroleum and Mining PS John Morangi Omenge as his Cabinet Secretary John Munyes (left) looks on after stakeholders’ meeting in Kisii County. (Standard)

The Government has announced plans to put up a soapstone value addition centre to benefit local stone miners in South Mugirango.

For more than 50 years, middlemen have been capitalising on the lack of a proper market and poor mining technology locally.

Addressing locals at Tabaka on Monday, Mining and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said the project was a collaboration between the county and the national governments.

"We will receive a feasibility report by end of June 2019, and expect that we get a positive response from our donor funding. The Government will not sit and watch our people work under such poor health conditions," said Mr Munyes.

He said the soapstone value addition was among the four national projects being undertaken by the ministry. Others, he said, are gemstone in Voi, gold refinery in Kakamega and granite mining in Vihiga.

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