The Kenya Chamber of Mines (KCM) and the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK) jointly convened the Kenya Mining Week on 17th – 18th July 2023 at Radisson Blu, Upperhill, Nairobi. The objective was to address crucial aspects of Kenya’s mining sector and promote economic growth through inclusivity.
Emerging Issues and Recommendations:
Policy and Legal Issues:
- We recommend amending the Mining Act 2016 to consider Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) and establish clear coexistence guidelines with Large-scale Mining (LSM).
- Promoting compliance with legal frameworks is essential for responsible and sustainable mining practices.
- We advocate for legal recognition of all stakeholders involved in the mining sector to ensure equitable benefits.
- An institutional framework supporting ASM is necessary, considering their unique needs and challenges.
Economic Agenda – Production Challenges for Minerals:
- Fostering value chain development and local mineral refinement will drive economic growth.
- Strengthening partnerships between the government and stakeholders will leverage strengths for mutual benefit.
- Investment in critical minerals for energy transition is crucial for sustainable development.
- We propose increasing revenue contribution beyond 1% of gross revenue for community development.
- Streamlining the minerals value-addition process will maximize economic gains.
- Addressing financial challenges faced by ASM, including access to collateral for financial assistance, is vital.
Occupational Safety, Health, and Environmental Agenda:
- Utilizing freely available land use data for sustainable development and local use of development minerals is a priority.
- Rethinking development minerals waste and finding repurposing solutions is essential.
- Capitalizing on existing environmental legislation will facilitate energy transition.
- Responsible mining practices must be emphasized to ensure sustainable development.
- Utilizing tools and measures to reduce mercury and cyanide use will curb environmental degradation.
- Embracing the latest technology, such as AI and ML, will drive innovation and development in the mining industry.
- Leveraging technology for monitoring carbon emissions will reduce environmental impact.
Strategies for Action:
In light of these recommendations, we appeal to the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs to take the following actions:
- Lift the moratorium on the issuance of mining licenses and permits to accelerate mining activities.
- Collaborate with industry stakeholders to fast-track the review of the Mining Act 2016 to align it with current needs.
- Ratify international legal instruments to address challenges relevant to Kenya’s mining sector, particularly those concerning ASM.
- Involve academia to build institutional capacity and enhance the skills of the mining workforce.
- Grant legal recognition to ASM players, allowing them access to benefits enjoyed by other stakeholders.
- Establish a fund to promote access to finance for mining equipment, especially for ASM operators.
- Improve the cadastre system to enhance transparency, efficiency, and transformative potential.
- Liaise with other relevant government departments, such as trade, investments, and environment, to facilitate ease of doing business in the mining sector.
The Kenya Chamber of Mines (KCM) and the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK) are committed to working together with the government and stakeholders to realize these recommendations and ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in Kenya’s mining sector.
The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, Mr. Godwin Nickleson Amarh. who is also the CEO Transeco and considered an expert in Artisnal Samll Scale mining was present to make his input.