A British mining company, Acacia Mining, has announced the discovery of an estimated 1.31 million ounces of gold resources at Lirhanda, Kakamega County, equivalent to Ksh165 billion at current market prices. Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu has welcomed the news saying gold prospects in western Kenya have been one of their highest grade projects in Africa since 2012.
“We are delighted to announce the maiden NI 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource estimate (MRE) on the Lirhanda corridor in Kakamega County. This is a major discovery and we look forward to establish whether this becomes an economically viable mine which will take several years,” said Mr Kazungu. “Kenya is undoubtedly a geologically-rich country and we are delighted to see the discovery of this gold resource in Kakamega County.”
Mr Kazungu said that the government was in the process of conducting a national geophysical survey to map the country’s mineral deposits. He encouraged other stakeholders and investors in the mining sector to take advantage of the new Mining Act, the Mining Policy and other relevant regulations to invest in this fairly virgin sector that has the potential to positively transform Kenya’s economy.
Acacia Chief Executive Officer Brad Gordon said Acacia, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is currently running explorations in Tanzania, Kenya Burkina Faso and Mali. In Kenya, Acacia is exploring for gold in four counties in Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya and Kisumu.
Gordon said that Acacia has spent a total of Ksh2.95 billion over the last four years on this project in Kenya. He said that Kenya is a geologically rich country and the government has put a robust legislative framework to support the mining industry. “The Greenfield discovery demonstrates Acacia’s value for systematic approach to grassroots exploitation, and strategy of explorations over the years, there is also the Bushiangala project with prospects” he added.
The Lirhanda corridor is located in Kakamega county 30 kilometres from Kakamega town covering a 30 square kilometer area.