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Kenya to pick contractor for minerals survey by December - minister

29 September 2016, 18:00

Nairobi (Reuters) - Kenya will appoint a company by December to conduct a year-long airborne survey to map its mineral deposits to attract mining explorers to the nascent sector, Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu said on Wednesday.

Kazungu said the ministry has initial funding of 3 billion shillings ($29.64 million) from the Treasury in the 2016/17 (July-June) fiscal year to start the survey.

Kenya has proven deposits of titanium, gold and coal and is also understood to hold significant deposits of copper, niobium, manganese and rare earth minerals.

President Uhuru Kenyatta created the Mining Ministry in 2013 to try and diversify the east African economy which relies mainly on tourism and agriculture.

"In our forecast we believe we should be able to have that contractor through competitive bidding who will do the airborne survey," Kazungu told reporters on the sidelines of a mining industry conference.

He said the ministry would hire a consultant in the next month or so to work with geologists to help the contractor with Kenya's first such survey.

"As the process goes on, we should be able to find preliminary results as the mapping starts," he said. "We have never surveyed our country to know what we have. We need to have credible data."

He said the survey would start in western Kenya, where gold has been discovered.

- Reuters

Tags mining

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