Department of Mines and Geology

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Mining in Kenya The Department was started on 1st January, 1933 through the Mining Ordinance of 1933, which replaced the code prevailing in the then Tanganyika Territory of 1931. The current Mining Act Chapter 306 commenced on 1st October 1940 and has been revised on two occasions 1972 and 1987. The Department is headed by the Commissioner of Mines and Geology. It is divided into Mining and Geology Divisions.

The responsibilities of the department are to;

  • Carry out geological Survey and Research
  • Maintenance of Geo-scientific database and information
  • Administration of legislation relating to mineral resources development
  • Mining and Mining Policy formulation
  • Advising the Government on Mineral Policy matters
  • Supervision of quarry and Mine safety
  • Security of commercial explosives.

If you are particularly interested in exploiting Kenya’s vast natural resources. It is in perfect order to make enquiries at this office.

They are charged with licensing prospectors, mining and dealership rights.

These licenses are issued by the Department of Mines and Geology.

There are several classes of confirmed mineral in Kenya. They include fluorspar, gold, gemstones, Kensil and Atomite, titanium and others.

In order to get down to mining operations in Kenya, there are several tedious processes that you need to go through.

You will need to file an interest to mine with the department of mines and geology within the Ministry of Environment and natural resources.

Thereafter you will need to make an application fully compliant with the environmental audit requirements of the National environmental management authority. Indicate whether you intend to participate as a prospector, miner or dealer.

You should understand that there are different obligations and requirements under each license. You may also apply for one license or all of the licenses.


Environment and Mineral Resources Minister John N. Michuki has said that all mineral investments in the country must be for the interest of Kenyans. The Minister made this declaration when he carried out a familiarization tour of Kwale county where Illumenite, Rutile and Zircon are expected to be mined by the Base Titanium company as well as where Niobium and Rare Earth minerals are expected to be extracted by the Cortec Mining Kenya company. These minerals are used in pigment industry to make colours and stabilise paints as well as make ceramics and tiles.

At Base titanium the Minister announced that all hurdles which were holding the mining of the mineral had been surmounted and work was progressing on schedule. The 250 million dollar investment is expected to earn the country 150 million dollars each year in exports. It expects employ 350 Kenyans when in operation but take on 1000 during construction period expec ted to start next year to take 20 m0nths to finish and be in production by mid 2013. Colin Bwye, the Executive Director in charge of Operations and Development of the parent company and Kenya’s General Manger Joe Schwarz said that the company would initially have 30 expatriates who would be scaled down to five through technology transfer to Kenyans. The company which is expected to use a lot of water in its operations would construct a 100 hectare dam at Mukurumudzi river which will displace 97 families who would be relocated and compensated. Minister Michuki directed the company to immediately put in measures together in conjunction with Kenya Forest Service to restore biodiversity of the area after their activities and start by establishing nurseries if indigenous tree species which would be uprooted from the 3,000 hectatre mining site.

Hon. Michuki viewing Niobium mineral which is being mined at Mrima in Kwale district when he toured the CORTEC mining company. The minister who was accompanied by his assistant Ramadhan Kajembe , Msambweni Mp Omar Zonga acting commissioner of Mines and Geology Moses Masibo observed that the wage bill which would directly go to the local workers was sh.700 million per year while there would be other multiplier effect benefits. The minister however called for value addition investments of the minerals and only export excess so as to benefit the country through employment and higher earnings.

Niobium which is used in steel manufacturing and Rare earth used in production of magnets used in cars, televisions sets, turbines among other uses is to be mined at Mrima hill where explorations is still ongoing. The Managing Director of the Cortec Mining Kenyan company David Anderson observed that the deposits around the hill would last between 15 to 20 years and would make Kenya one of the worlds top producers of the two are minerals.

Hon. Michuki, with his assistant Hon. Kajembe (right) and Msambweni MP, Hon. Omar Dzonga being shown the Mukurumudzi river by Base Titanium GM, Mr. Joe Schwarz. The company is to construct a 100 hectares dam.

Although most of the minerals are exported in their raw form, the government policy is to encourage value addition within the country for higher returns, support of industrialization and employment creation. Among the minerals that are found in Kenya in significant quantities are soda ash (Trona) around Lake Magadi, Fluorspar at Kimwarer in Kerio Valley as well as Titanium in Kwale, Malindi and Lamu.

Grossular on calcite Origin: Kaiiado District, Rift Valley Province, Kenya (photo: There is reasonable potential for Gold in Kakamega, Vihiga, Migori, Transmara, Bondo, Siaya, Pokot and Turkana while there weres minor indications of the mineral in Nandi.

Coal occurs in Mwingi and Mutitu .It is currently under investigations by the Ministry of Energy in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources to establish its viability for commercial exploitation. Iron ore occurs in parts of Taita, Meru, Kitui, Kilifi and Samia. The Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources as well as private prospecting companies are involved in evaluation of viability. Manganese ore occurs in Ganze and Mrima Hill in Coastal region .

Diatomite is found at Kariandusi near Gilgil. Vermiculite on Kinyiki Hill. Gypsum in El Wak, Garissa, Tana River, Kajiado and Turkana . Natural carbon dioxide at Kereita in Kiambu while a variety of gemstones are found in Taita, Kwale, Kitui, Mwingi, Kajiado, Isiolo, Pokot and Turkana

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