Kenya Discovers Large Deposits of Coltan – Mineral Used in Modern Tech

January 25, 2024

Kenya has  announced a significant discovery that is poised to enhance its status as a mineral exporter.

Mining and Blue Economy Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya confirmed that substantial deposits of coltan, a rare mineral crucial in electronics manufacturing, have been found in six Kenyan counties, among them Embu, which has been identified as a key location.

This mineral is integral in producing various electronic devices, including mobile phones, electric cars, laptops, video game consoles, and more. It is mostly found in Eastern DRC, but war and exploitation has denied them the benefits.

Cabinet Secretary Mvurya, during an announcement at the Embu county headquarters, declared the government’s commitment to evaluating the economic impact of these coltan deposits.

“It is now official. We have coltan deposits in the country and we want to see how we can inspire the investors,” Mvurya stated.

The government aims to invigorate the mining industry, recognizing its potential benefits for the country.

Nationwide Mineral Exploration

Mvurya revealed that 970 mineral occurrences have been identified across Kenya. The government plans to initiate mining operations soon and will decentralize laboratory services to counties for more efficient mineral testing.

Plans are underway to hire more workers for mineral exploration activities across the counties. The government will also establish laboratory services in eight regions to assess and verify the quality of minerals found locally.

Combating Illegal Mining Activities

In his speech, accompanied by Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, Mvurya expressed concerns about illegal mining activities in the country. He emphasized the need to enforce legal compliance in the mining sector, announcing the formation of a special unit to address this issue.

Governor Mbarire on her part expressed satisfaction with the discovery, noting that 20 percent of the mineral proceeds would benefit the county, with an additional 10 percent directly aiding local communities.

She said that the Embu administration is collaborating with the national government to ensure the successful extraction of coltan in the region.

Speaking in the same event, Mbeere South MP Nebart Muriuki advised residents against hastily selling their land following this discovery. He stressed the potential long-term benefits of the coltan find, urging locals to hold onto their land to reap future rewards. “A precious mineral has been found here and if you want to benefit you should not sell your land,” he cautioned.

This development marks a significant milestone in Kenya’s journey towards becoming a key player in the global electronics manufacturing sector.

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