Govt announces discovery of mineral used to manufacture cameras, phones, laptops

Thursday, January 25th, 2024 16:36 | By
Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Salim Muvurya together with Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire and other government officials at Ntharawe in Kiambere where coltan deposits have been located. PHOTO/Brian Malila

The government has announced the discovery of large deposits of coltan in different parts of the country.

The precious mineral is used in the production of electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, cameras and other high-tech equipment.

Speaking at Ntharawe village in Kiambere, Embu County, Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Salim Muvurya termed the discovery as significant for the country.

The CS said the government was strategizing and looking for investors so that they could start extracting the minerals for export.

Mvurya's visit to Ntharawe mineral deposits comes against the backdrop of the national geophysical survey which was concluded last year and which located 970 mineral occurrences in the country.

The CS disclosed that the mining sector has faced numerous challenges in the past, including a lack of investments. However, the government is now committed to reviving the sector.

He said the government would collaborate with county governments to streamline artisanal mining throughout the entire process.

According to the CS, the mineral had been discovered in at least six counties in the country including, Kitui, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot and Tana River.

Assessment of the value of the minerals is ongoing.

''We have coltan deposits in different parts of the country, what we are now looking for as a government are investors to explore this sector,'' he said.

Further, he stated that when the mining exercise kicks off many young people will secure employment opportunities in the areas where these deposits are located.

To fast-track the mineral testing exercise across the country, the cabinet secretary said the government will set up mineral testing laboratories in eight regions to ascertain the real minerals for each county.

''I have spoken with my PS and we shall set up regional laboratories to have a clear test of the quality of minerals found in a particular area,'' Muvurya said when he addressed locals in Ntharawe.

Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire said the minerals would in a big way change the economy of the county since 20 per cent of the mineral income will go to the county with 10 per cent going to the residents.

She, however, urged the government to weed out unlicensed miners who he said were misusing the locals.

''These illegal miners should be dealt with accordingly and blacklisted, we need to deal with the licensed miners,'' Governor Mbarire stated.

Mbeere South MP Eng. Nebert Muriuki called on the locals not to be lured to sell off their land since they may lose a lot of money.

"I want to call on you locals, do not sell your land, you may sell it now and tomorrow after testing it has coltan how shall you have benefited?'' he questioned.

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