By Brilliant Faith

The Kenyan government has taken a significant step towards boosting the economy by launching a Sh5.8 billion gold refinery in Kakamega County. The state-of-the-art facility, set to be operational by June next year, is expected to revolutionize the mineral mining sector in the country. The project, undertaken by a foreign investor, H-NUO Kenya Company, aims to benefit thousands of artisanal miners who have been operating in unsafe conditions.

The Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Salim Mvurya, presided over the groundbreaking ceremony and emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting artisanal miners. The government has formalized the miners’ activities through the formation of cooperative societies, allowing them to operate without fear of harassment.

According to Mvurya, the government will no longer require artisanal miners to travel to Nairobi for registration. Instead, licensing officers will be stationed in mining counties to provide services to the local community. The CS also announced that the investors will pay royalties, with 20% going to the county government and 10% towards development projects in the area.

Mvurya urged the local community to establish a Community Development Agreement Committee to benefit from the project’s proceeds. The investors have also committed to providing job opportunities and tenders for local services.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, the company will set up a health center, piped water, and other social amenities for the local community. The government is also planning to construct a state-of-the-art mineral testing laboratory in the area to improve the efficiency and quality of mineral mining and value addition.

The country has vast underground wealth, with a geological survey revealing 970 mineral deposits nationwide. The setting up of the gold refinery is expected to put Kenya on the world map of gold-producing countries.

The project’s significance was echoed by local leaders, including Member of Parliament Bernard Shinali, who provided land for the project through the National Government Constituency Fund (NG-CDF). Other legislators present at the ceremony hailed the government’s initiative, predicting that it will greatly improve the living standards of local residents.

The project’s implementation is expected to bring about significant economic benefits to the region. With its launch, Kenya is poised to become a major player in the global gold market. The initiative is also expected to create jobs and stimulate local economic growth.

The government’s commitment to supporting artisanal miners is a significant step towards promoting sustainable development in the country. By providing them with equipment and a safe working environment, the government is empowering them to contribute positively to the economy.

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