Why you should invest in Kenya’s mining sector?
- Initially, the country was mapped as an agricultural zone and in previous generations, this led to reduced exploration for minerals.
- Regardless, Kenya is the third largest producer of soda ash in the world and the seventh producer of fluorspar. Metallic minerals currently produced in the country include titanium, gold and iron ore. Export statistics for Kenya indicate a constantly growing sector.
- With further exploration and uptake of mineral rights then, it is estimated that Kenya will have the capacity to position itself as a regional mining sector hub for Eastern Africa. The recent discoveries are estimated to be worth USD 62.4 Billion and will propel Kenya to the list of top five countries with rare earth deposits in the world. In addition, the country has the world’s top six deposits for Niobium.
- Commercial deposits of coal have been discovered in the north eastern region of the country and are currently under review for potential uses and production. The coal deposits in Kitui are being billed as a source of cheaper energy to drive Vision 2030, the economic blueprint that aims to make Kenya an industrialised country in 20 years.
- Currently, 67 per cent of Kenya’s power is generated from hydro sources, 10 per cent from geothermal and 23 per cent from thermal sources, which is price-sensitive to fluctuating international fuel prices. The anticipated mining of coal would free some of the country’s foreign exchange reserves for other purposes.
What is being done on a legal and regulatory system?
The Ministry of Mining has been extremely active and created numerous opportunities to support the growth of the sector such as:
- New Mining Act: A new mining act has been implemented in May 2016 and regulations have been made. In a year, Kenya has jumped 16 places to position 86 from 102 in the most attractive global mining destinations.
- Nationwide airborne survey: In September this year, Kenya’s Government has signed with China EXIM Bank a Sh 7bn (USD 68 million) to fund a nationwide airborne survey and map the country's minerals and natural resources. The project is aimed at attracting more mineral investment into the country .
- Mineral Right Board (MRB): The MRB has been inaugurated in July 2017, providing more transparency in issuance of mining license. This will, in turn, reduce the time taken to approve applications via the online cadastre.