Kenya’s leading mining houses and industry bodies, including Base Titanium, Acacia Mining, Karebe Gold Mining and the Kenya Chamber of Mines, will be represented at the highest level at the upcoming Kenya Mining Forum in Nairobi next month.
The conference will focus on mining investment opportunities in Kenya’s counties, case studies from successful mining projects, an update on the gemstone, artisanal and small-scale sector as well as financing and regulatory challenges.
Among the leading mining experts who will be at Kenya Mining Forum include Simon Wall, Acting General Manager – External Affairs, Base Titanium in Kenya who will be part of a panel discussion on: “Experiences from within Kenya’s mining industry”:
“Base’s key message is to show the world what is possible to achieve in Kenya. By showcasing the successful development and operation of the Kwale Mine and the strong cooperation and commitment received from the Government of Kenya, we hope to be viewed as a catalyst for further investment in the country’s mining sector.” He said.
“Another key message is to demonstrate to potential investors the efforts being undertaken by the government to facilitate growth of the mining sector. Central to this is the Mining Act 2016, but other initiatives are equally important; for example the plan to conduct the aerial geophysical survey, the huge investments being made in infrastructure and the drive to lower the cost of energy through increased production and improved delivery.” He added.
Other panellists joining Base Titanium in this discussion include Johannes Henckel, Head of Discovery, Acacia Mining in South Africa as well as Charlie Tryon, Director and Chariman of Karebe Gold Mining Ltd, Kenya’s largest gold producer
“We have developed an underground narrow vein mining operation that employs 330 people and has contributed 2bn shillings in local contributions to the economy during the life of the mine. We are looking to scale the mine up further and increase our exploration activities.” Charlie Tyron
“I would like to see a more vibrant gold sector modelled on the Zimbabwean gold mining industry of old. This will take a generation to develop but could result in a 10-20 ton of gold production in the near term.” He added.
Antony Zagoritis, Chief Executive Officer of Lapigems in Kenya is part of a panel discussion in the session on “Upgrading Kenya’s ASM sectors human capital, while glazing the upgrades of Kenyan gemstones”:
“We are at a crossroads. Kenya has the potential to bestow upon itself the mantle of the Gem Hub of Africa. No African country has yet done this. If we fail to grasp the opportunity now, others will and we will lose out.” Antony Zagoritis
“My vision for the industry is a gem hub for Africa. A forward thinking government putting in place a regulatory framework that focuses on how to create a thriving value addition industry in the country. Investing in skills training which is sorely lacking right now. There are no courses for gem cutters, gemologists, or goldsmiths in Kenya. Even if we wanted to build such a hub, there would be nobody able to fill the skills gap or to provide the workforce required to drive this growth. Overregulation needs to be tempered so as not to overburden players.” He added.
Dr Cedric Simonet, a mineral exploration and development consultant with Akili Minerals Services and chairman of the Kenya Chamber of Mines, the official host of the upcoming Kenya Mining Forum, is part of a panel discussion during the “Spotlight on the counties” session, in particular on “Where are the prominent mineral deposits located that can attract investment.”
Dr Cedric Simonet: “I believe there is a strong case for modernizing the gemstone mining industry, partnering with local miners, to create sustainable production streams which can really put Kenya on the map as a reliable source of tsavorite, ruby, and other gems.”
“There are two main challenges to both local and international investment in the mining sector in Kenya. The first challenge is the Mining Act which despite being presented as investor friendly actually has critical flaws which are currently hindering further growth of the sector. KCM is engaging with the Government on these issues. The second challenge is political interference.” He added.
His message at Kenya Mining Forum will be: “counties that will be able to attract and benefit from mineral investment are not those who have the most attractive resources in the ground, but those who will be able to put in place, hand in hand with the National Government, the most attractive investment environment.”
The Kenya Mining Forum exhibition is expected to be double the size of last year with more than 40 suppliers showcasing the latest local and international solutions and services for mining operations.