The Mining Bill 2014 is in its 2nd reading in Parliament. It seeks to repeal the existing legislation relating to mining, which was enacted in 1940. The Bill is transformational to mining in Kenya. Once enacted into law, the new Mining Act will enable the Ministry to establish a simple, clear, transparent, and predictable legal framework for the management of mineral resources in Kenya, a development that will streamline mining in the country and increase the contribution of mining to gross domestic product, increase employment opportunities and spur economic growth and development in the mining areas.
Currently, mining contributes about one per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and three per cent total export earnings. This contribution is expected to rise significantly to three per cent by 2017 and 10 per cent by 2030. In addition, the sector will contribute 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly over the next five years; spur economic growth through infrastructural development, industrial development and foreign exchange earning.
The Ministry has initiated a nation-wide airborne geophysical survey to reveal areas of potential mineralization which will lead to effective planning, exploration and exploitation of mineral resources. Once accomplished, important geological data will be available to help mineral exploration and exploitation. Once done this will attract more serious investors both locally and internationally and will lead to increased potential revenue for the country, improvement of livelihood for the communities in mineralized areas and increase in employment of more Kenyans.
The country currently loses significant revenue ansmg from evasion and non-payment of royalties and fees. This is due to weak institutional capacity that can track compliance of licensed mineral right holders as well as develop appropriate tools and models to optimize benefits from mineral resources. The ministry has now established a Mineral Audit Unit that will ensure the Government gets its true share of mineral proceeds in form of royalties, fees and other charges. The Unit will conduct research on mineral valuation, interrogate feasibility studies and carry out research on mineral pricing at the international markets for correct royalty calculations.
In addition, the unit shall advice government while negotiating with mining companies on fiscal regimes and revisions of royalties, taxes and other fees due to their complex nature. The establishment of the Unit will enable the Government through Ministry of Mining get the true value of its minerals, a development that will increase the contribution of mining to gross domestic product and economic growth and development.
The ministry has initiated the development of an Online Mineral Cadastre Software, which is a computerized register of mining rights as well as a management tool for licensing and concessioning. Once completed, all operations will be transacted online through the mining cadastre portal. This will reduce the cost of doing mining business by enhancing, efficiency, accountability and transparency in licensing and concession management, a development that will increase mining activities and create employment.
The ministry conducted land use and land cover for counties to aid in developing County Integrated Development Plans for planning, conservation and development. The Ministry has completed land use and land cover mapping for Land degradation in Kwale and Makueni Counties; Mapping of Mangroves forest along the Coast; inventory and mapping of wetlands; inventory and Mapping of Dams in Machakos, Makueni, and Kilifi; Mapping of Cherangany and Mt Elgon Water Towers; Mapping of Kakamega; Assessment and mapping of Ewaso Nyiro North Water Towers. Currently, land use/cover is ongoing in Mombasa and Kwale Counties.
The ministry also conducted Rangeland Assessment and Monitoring of Livestock and wildlife population and distribution in Narok, Samburu, Isiolo, Lamu, Kwale, Kilifi, Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Markwet, Kajiado, and Turkana Counties. The foregoing data and information were used in mapping wildlife corridors and dispersal areas.