NATURAL RESOURCES

Taita Taveta forges ahead with partnership to boost mining

Plans are underway for the operationalization of the gem centre and subsequent formation of a county mining committee.

In Summary
  • Sh50 million mineral processing centre shall set the stage for the government's plan to improve the industry not only in Taita Taveta but also in the neighbouring counties of Makueni, Kitui, Kilifi and Kwale.
  • It is one of the government’s mining flagship projects.

Gemstone and mineral-rich Taita Taveta county aims to increase mineral extraction to boost the economy and improve the livelihoods of artisanal miners.

The region contains rubies, tourmaline, red and green garnets, Tanzanite and metals including iron and manganese as well as limestone.

The county wants to partner with the national government, the Chamber of Mines, investors and stakeholders.

Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui the aim is also to empower artisanal miners, raise their community living standards.

She said the artisanal mining community has not yet benefited from precious stones.

“We shall establish teamwork with all partners so communities can benefit," Majala said.

Speaking while meeting Mining PS Peter Kaberia at the Voi Gemstone Value Addition Centre, she said the government is closely monitoring mining operations to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Majala said plans are underway to open a gem centre and form a county mining committee.

"It is important  to launch the Artisanal Mining Committee and operationalise the Gemstone Value Addition Centre to increase technical support and market opportunities," Majala added.

PS Peter Kaberia promised to work with the county to bring on board technical personnel to spearhead  growth of the mining sector.

"The ministry is keen to support these operations and will look into licencing, providing electricity to mining sites and providing technical know-how," Kaberia said.

He said the Sh50 million mineral processing centre - one of the government's flagship projects - will set lay the foundation for plans to improve the mining industry  not only in Taita Taveta but also in neighbouring Makueni, Kitui, Kilifi and Kwale counties.

(Edited by V. Graham)