Kenya's regulations to boost mining inch closer

Kenya could get new mining laws in 90 days, following last week’s Cabinet approval of two mining and mineral policies.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu said the approval was a major breakthrough in efforts to replace the Mining Act of 1940 that had left the sector exposed to governance and operational issues.

“The upcoming laws will strengthen the regulation and co-ordination of the mining sector. They will address gaps in the sector,” he said.

He added that a new set of laws would help align the industry to the Africa Mining Vision, Vision 2030 and the Constitution. Under Vision 2030, the Government wants the mining sector to contribute at least 10 per cent to gross domestic product, up from the current 0.8 per cent.

Cabinet approval of the two policies paves way for a repeal of specific clauses in the Mining Act, Diamond Industry Protection Act and Trading in Unwrought Precious Metals Act.

The new Act is expected to address issues such as environmental protection, equity, mineral value addition, small-scale mining and post-mine closure activities.

One of the proposals it contains is to have the central government take 70 per cent of revenues from mining, and county governments 20 per cent. The community in the area where mining takes place will benefit from the remaining 10 per cent, which will be used to finance social projects.

“The policy will promote the use of appropriate technology, including geospatial technology and airborne geophysical surveying to enhance information on mineral potential,” said Mr Kazungu.

The Government is planning to spend about Sh6.1 billion on geophysical surveying to document the exact location of minerals so that investors can work with current data.

Kazungu added that only gold, copper, iron ore and coal are considered important, yet the country has more than 20 minerals.

He also ruled out cancelling mining firms’ licenses once a new Act is adopted, but urged investors in the sector to help grow it.

“For us to accelerate growth, we cannot have companies embroiled in court case or shelving their licences at the expense of creating wealth for the country,” he said.


Posted on : 06 Apr,2016

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