Illegal mining licences to be revoked

Cabinet Secretary of Petroleum and Mining Salim Mvurya (center) when he announced the occurrence of minerals in 15 counties including West Pokot and Kitui on March 13, 2023. He is flanked by West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin (left) and Kitui Governor Julius Malombe (right). [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

West Pokot county government is set to revoke all illegal mining licences in the region.

Governor Simon Kachapin has warned investors and miners dealing with minerals, who illegally acquired mining prospects in the county, that it will not be business as usual.

“Soon we shall revoke those licences because many miners acquired them illegally,” said Kachapin.

The county boss noted that some investors in North and Central Pokot sub-counties were given licences through dubious means without the knowledge of locals and approval by the county government.

Speaking to the press in Kapenguria, Kachapin said exploitation of resources will improve the economy of the region. The county is rich in minerals including gold, copper, iron core, limestone, ruby and sand.

“West Pokot is a county of hidden treasures. During this third period of devolution, we shall exploit natural resources. We shall cooperate with the national government and other stakeholders to exploit the minerals,” he said.

The areas of Kiwawa, Alale, Marich, Iyoni, Chepkobhee, Tamkal and Posilo Ortum, which have minerals, are said to be major targets for mining.

The governor revealed that the county government has signed agreements with several investors who are ready to set up development projects in the county.