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Errant miners lose licences

30 January 2014, 09:31

Nairobi - The Ministry of Mining has revoked licenses of 40 mining companies after an investigation established they were flouting regulations.

A taskforce constituted by Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, carried out the investigations.

The taskforce formed to investigate issuance of mining licenses embarked on reviewing 253 licenses, begun its work late last year and according to its chairperson, Mohammed Nyaoga, it found that 175 firms had valid prospecting licenses.

“Nine companies had no prospecting rights, 69 could not be verified and we encountered a number of cases where the law was flouted,” said Nyaoga.

He added that there were cases where it was clear that discretion was not exercised by officers who issued the licenses.

The issuance of the 253 licenses that were investigated by the task force, were issued between 2003 and 2013.

Balala had in August 2013 revoked all licenses that were issued just before the 2013 general elections and thereafter.

He said that the task force report is going to assist the ministry of mining in routing out companies and individuals who keep licenses for speculation purposes.

“We will not entertain speculators in the mining industry,” said Balala.

He added that applicants will get licenses on availability basis and if the applicant showed willingness to begin prospecting immediately.

The Cabinet Secretary also notified all foreign companies and individuals who were engaging in small-scale mining that the industry would be a preserve for locals.

“The ministry will come with a clear action plan on streamlining the sector by end of February this year,” he said.

– CAJ News

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