Gov’t To Decriminalize Artisan, Small Scale Miners

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Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Salim Mvurya/PHOTO COURTESY

The government has assured artisan miners that it will decriminalize their activities to enable them earn a decent livelihood.

Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Salim Mvurya while touring Kalosi mining sites in Kuria, Masara, and Osili Matanda mining sites in Nyatike said that artisan miners have been criminalized for doing their business yet they were the biggest contributors of income in the Kenyan mining sectors.

CS Mvurya pledged to ensure that artisan miners are properly recognized, licensed, and supported by the government to do their daily work.

According to Mvurya, the purpose of meeting artisan miners was to resolve any arising issues and streamline the set policies to help forge ahead the mining sector in the country.

Mvurya assured the artisan miners that their concerns would be aligned with what the ministry had proposed through its set policies and acts.

Already the ministry has mapped 66 artisan mining groups in Migori County who will be assisted to form cooperatives and properly financed to cater to their needs, including proper mining gear and safety equipment.  

He acknowledged that the artisan miners will no longer do their business as a traditional activity but rather as a value-added addition to generating more income revenue for the country, county and the community.

The ministry has already done a geo survey mapping to establish the nature, quantity, existence and location of various minerals in the country. The survey mapping report identified 970 mineral occupancy across the country.

He added that Madini House in Nairobi will be elevated to an International Laboratory to help the miners in Kenya quantify their resources instead of outsourcing the services outside the country.

The CS explained that it was equally important to ensure that the mining resources remain in the country and are only exported after value additions are made to the products to help artisan miners to reap from their sweat.

The ministry in corporation with county governments will also establish artisan small-scale miners committees that will be tasked with issuing mining permits as well as managing the affairs of the local miners.

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