M a r k e t N e w s

CS Kazungu eyes 10% GDP growth after new mining sector rules

Posted on : Thursday, 11th August 2016

The Mining ministry is working on a 20-year strategy to leapfrog its gross domestic product contribution from one per cent to at least 10 per cent by 2030.
CS Dan Kazungu said passing the Minerals and Mining Policy and assenting Mining Bill 2016 into law set the ball rolling.
"The new law and policy position Kenya towards the path of being the most attractive destination for mineral investment in Africa and enhances the country's competitiveness globally by providing a stable, predictable and transparent investment climate for exploration and mining companies," said Kazungu.
The CS made the remarks during a stakeholder engagement on the proposed mining regulations and guidelines at Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, on Wednesday.
The regulations are expected to assist the ministry in implementing the Mining Act, which contains about 21 draft regulations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Mining Bill on May 6, putting an end to a colonial era mining law that had been in existence since 1940. The new law became effective on May 27.
Kazungu said that the new law has opened up space and made it legal for anyone to engage in mining activities.
"This is the most progressive mining Act in Africa. Before this it was illegal for our forefathers to engage in mining. It was even illegal for you to be caught with sand," he said.
Kazungu said the law will attract more investors as the country now has the legal framework to protect their interests.
The CS said it will also give local communities the right to be involved in the exploration of minerals, away from the traditional CSR model of engagement.
"This will ensure communities and companies sit at one table and agree on areas of development," he said.
He added that the country is also set to enhance the amount of geological information available to potential mining investors.
This will involve carrying out surveys to make the sector grow the economy in double digits.
Kazungu said the ministry has already received an allocation of Sh3 billion to commence the first phase of the project.
He said technical and national steering committees composed of various cabinet secretaries will work on the survey using part of the funds.
"This is critical because investors also look for credible data. We want to be competitive and attractive. We don’t want people to walk away from Kenya because we are unattractive," he said.
Kazungu said the ministry has tendered an expression of interest for a project consultant who would supervise the project to its conclusion.
The CS added that the new mining law also requires the ministry to put up a mineral rights board to replace the mineral licensing advisory committee.

The board will be tasked with receiving applications and carrying out due diligence on leases and mining licenses. This will reduce the mining licence application period to around 90 days. 

Source : www.the-star.co.ke
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