COMPLIANCE

Mining ministry revokes 26 licenses on breach of law

The ministry yesterday said companies whose licenses have been revoked failed to meet the required regulatory and operational standards.

In Summary

•26 exploration licences have been revoked.

•The most affected are non-precious minerals, gemstone( except diamond), iron ore , industrial minerals and gypsum.

Workers at Kishushe mining in Taita Taveta county
Workers at Kishushe mining in Taita Taveta county
Image: FILE

The mining ministry has revoked 26 exploration licences as it moves to streamline operations in the sector which has proved to be a key contributor to the country's Gross Domestic Product.

The ministry yesterday said companies whose licenses have been revoked failed to meet the required regulatory and operational standards.

In a gazette notice dated December 13, Petroleum and Mining CS John Munyes revoked expired licences which had been issued under the repealed Mining Act (Cap. 306) and whose holders have not applied for grant of similar type of rights under the Mining Act, 2016.

“It is worth noting that all the licensees revoked under the above gazette notice were all exploration or prospecting licences issued under the repealed mining Act Cap 306,” Mining PS John Omenge told the Star.

The most affected are non-precious minerals, gemstone( except diamond), iron ore , industrial minerals and gypsum.

Majority of the canceled licenses were projects in Kwale, Tana River and Kilifi counties.

Turksgate Enterprises Limited is the biggest casualty after losing a base minerals, gemstones except diamond exploration licence in Turkana, where it had previously secured an 802. 5 square kilometre site.

Amka Ventures Limited is second most affected after its 630 square kilometres project was nullified, ending its hopes of exploring and mining Gypsum in Garissa and Tana River Counties.

Nazareth Explorations Limited on the other hand has lost a 587 square kilometer area in Turkana , where it had hoped to explore for base minerals, non precious mineral and recious metals in Turkana County.

Others affected are Abyssinia Iron and Steel Limited( Industrial minerals in Homa Bay),

Devki Steel Mills Limited (iron ore in Kitui), Kenya Discovery Limited (Base minerals and precious metals in Busia and Siaya) and Tula Mining Limited ( gypsum in Tana River County).

Davis and Dawood Supplies (iron ore in Kilifi) Fataha Mining and Construction Company Limited (non precious mineral in Tana River ), Kenya Emerolds Mining (Iron ore in Kitui), Swensson and Simonet Minerals, Amka Ventures Limited ( Gypsum in Garissa and Tana River Counties) and Precious metals have also been affected.

Said Ahmed Salim, Richmont Mining Company Limited and Jerusha Wakio Mdamu also had their licenses revoked.

All the licenses had expired between years 2011 and 2017.

“They did not comply with the requirements of the transitional provisions, time lines give by Gazette Notice No 9229 of September 22,2017 and notices issued for compliance, in respect with the need to application for grant of similar type of licences under the new law,” the ministry told the Star in a communique.

Section 225(3), (6) and (7) of the transitional provisions of the Mining Act 2016, provides that any subsisting licence granted under the repealed law was to continue until expiration by passage of time. This meant that the holders were to continue complying with the licence conditions.

Any mineral right granted under the repealed law was not to be extended or renewed, but if such licence had provided for renewal, the holder had the right to apply for a similar type of licence under the new act .

“All the licence holders of the expired (and subsequently) revoked had been written to and given 21 days notice to comply with the transitional provisions by applying for similar type of licences under the Mining Act 2016 on priority basis. This would have provided for continuity of their rights – some form of renewal or re-grant,” the PS said.