A gold refinery plant will be constructed on a five-acre piece of land in Kakamega County following the discovery of deposits of the precious mineral found in the region last year.
The gold in Kakamega county is estimated at around Ksh165 billion.
Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said that 30% of the investment in the refinery will be awarded to the local community.
The CS also affirmed that capacity building for gold artisans should be conducted in the area, a view that was also held by Kakamega county Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Last year, a British mining company Acacia Mining announced the discovery of an estimated 1.31 million ounces of gold resources at Lirhanda within the county. At the time, market prices of the precious commodity placed the value of the founf gold at around Ksh165 billion.
Acacia Mining is registered in the London Stock Exchange and is on a quest to discover gold deposits in Burkina Faso, Mali and Tanzania as well.
In Kenya, the British firm has been conducting exploration of gold in the four counties of Kakamega, Kisumu, Siaya and Vihiga. The project has been going on for over four years and has cost in excess of Ksh2.95 billion, the Acacia Mining chief executive said last year.
The gold discovery announcement invoked a ‘gold rush’ in Kakamega County last year where amateur miners attempt to strike the precious metal. This venture is dangerous and has even led to fatalities at Ikolomani, the other area within Kakamega where the same type of amateur mining is practised.
Whereas gold is precious in the world markets, its mining does also pose other risks such as being a health hazard to women. Meanwhile, the business may not always be as profitable as is usually presumed.
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