Suspended miners in Kenya are set to get back their licences. The State said it will consider lifting a revocation order it recently issued on dozens of mining licences.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining had in a Gazette Notice dated June 11, revoked expired licences held by various miners after their expiry. Industry players have been using licences issued prior to the freeze or issuance of new licences in 2015, a move that was expected to enable the State to audit the licences.
The miners however needed to be gazetted by the Mining Ministry to continue with their activities. The Kenya Chamber of Mining (KCM) said a meeting held early last week between miners and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining could pave way for the lifting of a revocation order on mining licences that had expired.
The meeting was attended by KCM Chairman Peter Mwangi, miners from Kwale and Taita Taveta counties and Petroleum and Mining Principal Secretary (PS) Andrew Kamau.
Appeal to the Cabinet Secretary
“Our main objective was to get the Gazette Notice suspended to allow dialogue and an amicable resolution of the matter without the intervention of the courts. We agreed that instead of blanket approach, the ministry would deal with the issues on a case-by-case basis,”said Mwangi.
The affected miners will be required to appeal to the Cabinet Secretary and provide a copy of the appeal notice to the PS and Director of Mines. The 2015 freeze was compounded by a moratorium on the issuance of licences in November 2019 to enable the clean-up of government systems
“Once an appeal is received, the revocation would be put on hold, allowing members to carry on with operations until due diligence is done by the ministry. The suspension was not punitive but was meant to bring sanity and order in the industry,” said Mwangi.