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Migori County bans mining of blue sapphire

25 November 2013, 16:55 Oduor Omondi

Migori - Migori County government has temporarily stopped mining at Macalder area following reports that locals are selling deposits of the blue sapphire mineral to unknown foreign buyers.

Governor Zachariah Obado said the community around Macalder should not allow foreign buyers to exploit their gemstones.

Speaking in Nyatike where he confirmed the mining embargo, Obado said sapphire is a stone rich in diamond, zinc, gold, copper and silver deposits worth billions of shillings.

He said they instituted the ban to allow the government to check on the illegal export of the mineral rich product.

“We are not going to sit and watch our minerals being stolen and ferried to destinations we are not aware of,” said the Governor.

He said mining will resume soon after the investigation on the alleged illegal mineral export is complete and necessary action taken.

Obado promised the locals that the national and County government will settle on a local investor who will benefit the local miners and the community by building schools, roads and dispensaries.

He assured the local miners that the County government is moving in haste to structure policies and laws that will regulate mining activities and pricing.

The Governor however revealed that Mining Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, will soon tour Migori County to witness the mining activities and clarify how the national government will assist the local miners and the community at large.

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