HomeBase MetalsInvestor confidence in Kenyan mining declines

Investor confidence in Kenyan mining declines

Munyiri Kinyua,
Chief Executive,
Kenya Chamber
of Mines
Nairobi, Kenya — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 August 2009 – Investor confidence in the Kenyan mining industry is being eroded by an upsurge of unlicensed people invading concession areas, targeting gold and gemstones in particular.

The practice “’ referred to as zurura “’ has led companies which are prospecting and mining the minerals to contemplate scaling down their investment, due to fear of their property being destroyed.

Quoting The Daily Nation newspaper here, allAfrica.com reports that the Kenya Chamber of Mines (KCM) says investor confidence is being hit by activities of illegal miners, and the government has to act quickly to enforce rules pertaining to respect of private property.

“The government has to expedite enacting Mining and Minerals Bill, as well as to educate members of the public to respect concession areas and not destroy property,” said KCM chairman Joe Gatecha.

He explained that despite mining firms paying taxes to operate in concession areas, they incurred hefty losses due to zururas not only scooping minerals illegally, but also destroying equipment of licensed companies.

Insecurity in mining areas and con men dealing in minerals are blamed on poor enforcement of section 87 of the Mining Act. The setting up of Mining Police Units in problematic areas has been recommended.

KCM chief executive Munyiri Kinyua said enactment of the proposed Mining and Minerals Bill had to be expedited to take into account the needs of stakeholders, and to attract local and foreign investments.

“The Mining Act is outdated as it has not been revised since the colonial era, and cannot apply to present mineral development practices and regulatory procedures,” he added.