• May 27, 2024
  • Last Update May 26, 2024 7:22 PM
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Artisanal Mining Committees in Mt Kenya region launched

Artisanal Mining Committees in Mt Kenya region launched

Nyeri,

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

KNA by Beth Ndirangu

The Ministry of Mining has closed 1,546 mines in the country for failing to comply with the law governing mining.

Speaking in Nyeri town, today, when he launched Artisanal Mining Committees in six counties in Mt Kenya region, Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, Elijah Mwangi, said that the mines mostly involved in processing precious stones, were closed due to lack of licensing from the Ministry, as provided for by the law.

He said the government decriminalized the activities of artisanal mining in 2023, and as per the directive, artisanal miners were required to formalize their operations by organizing themselves into cooperatives.

“As we talk, we have closed down these mines, many of which were operating without consent from the government, we know many are still operational and from tomorrow, we will conduct crackdown using Mining Police Unit which has been formed, ” said Mwangi.

The PS who was accompanied by senior ministry officials said that the Committees which has been established and are under the Governor will be mandated to license artisan mining, commonly known as quarries producing building stones, ballasts and sands, among other products.

“For the last four years, our Ministry has not licensed anyone, now we have launched these Committees to regulate mining at local level, this will ensure compliance and payment of taxes,” said Mwangi.

Mwangi added that the licensing will also ensure that safety precautions are observed, while doing the works in quarry and establishment of cooperatives for benefit of minors.

“As a government we want to regulate this industry just like what is happening to Boda boda industry, the lead person will be the Governor whose nominee is the Chairman and will ensure fairness,’’ said Mwangi.

Mwangi’s comments comes at a time when Kenyans have raised red flag over government increased taxation.

Courtesy; KNA

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