Kenya has announced the recent discovery of the precious mineral Coltan within its borders. Coltan is a priceless component in the manufacture of smartphones laptops, and other communication gadgets.
A large amount of the precious mineral was found across at least six Kenyan counties. The current Kenyan administration has said that it plans to strengthen its focus on the mining sector.
- Kenya announces the discovery of significant Coltan reserves in six of its counties.
- Coltan is a crucial component in smartphone and laptop production.
- The Kenyan government eyes an economic boost through a strategic mining focus.
Salim Mvurya, Kenya’s Mining and Blue Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS), announced that a substantial reserve of Coltan has been found within Kenyan soil. The cabinet secretary noted that the precious mineral has been found in at least six of the country’s provinces, as seen in the news publication, Media.
Due to its special electrical qualities, coltan, which has primarily been sourced from a fellow East African country, the Democratic Republic of Congo is used to manufacture a wide variety of devices today, particularly cell phones and laptops.
According to Salim Mvurya, the Kenyan government is currently in the process of evaluating the mineral’s economic worth.
“It is now official. We have coltan deposits in the country and we want to see how we can inspire the investors,” the cabinet secretary said.
He also noted that the current administration is focused on harnessing the country’s mineral resources to bolster its economic well-being. To this effect, the government has already begun recruiting skilled workers to help with the excavation of minerals scattered across the country.
So far 970 mineral occurrences have been discovered, according to Mr. Mvurya. He also added that laboratories will be decentralized to numerous provinces to help assess the minerals found.
“We shall be setting up laboratory services in eight regions where we shall be testing samples and declaring the quality of minerals found in a particular region,” he said.
Embu County is one of the regions identified to possess the precious metal. Mvurya said the government is presently assessing the economic value of the mineral.
Joined by Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, the CS pledged to eliminate illegal miners who have encroached upon the mining industry.
Embu Governor expressed her satisfaction with the fact that 20 per cent of the mineral proceeds would go to the county, while 10 per cent would benefit the local population.
The discovery of the mineral in Kenya is set to raise the country’s profile as a mineral exporter. However, there are concerns it could make Kenya prone to conflict, given the mineral’s historical association with promoting strife and other social and environmental ills in places of origin.
For instance, while Congo DRC is the world’s biggest producer of tantalum, the country has not known peace since its independence in the 60s. Similarly, Rwanda, the third biggest producer of the mineral used in production of high performance capacitors has faced its own challenges of instability.