The new mining law that was put forth two weeks ago in a legal notice indicates that the foreign-owned mining companies will have to give up 35% of their local operations to Kenyans.
But, Ali Mohammed, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources told Reuters that the government will however give special consideration to foreign companies with existing mining licences.
In an interview he said that companies that have been licensed will have to provide proposals on how they would like to implement the new regulations taking into consideration the already existing commitments. He further added that for those who have not been licensed, it would be immediate. And no fresh licenses would be issued without the ownership of 35% by local citizens. Mohammed said there were several pending applications for new licenses.
The new requirement of 35 percent local investment follows a new tax of 10-20 percent on sales of property or shares in oil, mining and mineral prospecting firms, introduced recently to help fill in a growing funding gap.
According to the data from the ministry ten mining licenses have been issued to investors. Out of these, six of them belong to Kenyan companies including industrial gas suppliers, BOC Gases and Carbacid.
London-listed African Barrick Gold said that it was acquiring a license in July to prospect for gold in Western Kenya.
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