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Background Information

Background Information

The State Department for Mining was created under the re-organization of the Government of the Republic of Kenya vide Executive Order No. 1 of January 2023. Previously under the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, it is currently under the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs.

The State Department was established to provide leadership in the management of the extractives sector in the Country. The mandate includes development of mining and mining policies, Inventory and Mapping of mineral resources and building capacity for effective management of programmes and projects in the mining sector.

The mining sector contributes and has potential to greatly contribute to the economic development of the country. Mining in Kenya is mainly Artisanal and Small Scale (ASM) with a few Large-Scale Mining (LSM) operations. Empowerment of the mining industry players especially the artisanal miners is in line with the Kenya Kwanza 2022-2023 Bottom-UP Transformation Agenda (BETA) which seeks to create jobs, raise revenue, and transform the lives of those in the bottom of the economic pyramid while ensuring environmental sustainability.

Mining Information

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010, Article 62(f), states that minerals as defined by law are public land and that minerals belong to the people of Kenya. The management of minerals is vested in the National government.

Minerals are managed through the Mining and Minerals Policy, 2016, the Mining Act, 2016 and subsequent regulations. The Mining Act, 2016 has listed in the First Schedule the minerals it regulates. The Law has provided for various licences for large scale operations and permits for small scale operations. 

Licences and permits. To carry out activities regarding minerals such as exploration, mining and trading, one must be authorized through grant of a requisite licence or permit, which include;

  • Reconnaissance Permit
  • Reconnaissance Licence
  • Prospecting Permit
  • Prospecting Licence
  • Mining Permit
  • Mining Licence
  • Mineral dealers (trading) licence
  • Mineral dealers (processing) licence
  • Mineral dealers (trading) permit
  • Mineral export permit

The above permits and licences are issued by the Cabinet Secretary.

Artisanal Mining Permit.The Mining Act, 2016 introduced an Artisanal Mining Permit eligible for Kenyans undertaking artisanal mining activities. This Permit is issued by the Representative of the Director of Mines at the respective county with recommendations of the Artisanal Mining Committees.

Renewal. To renew a licence or permit the holder must meet the conditions and requirements as stipulated in the Mining Act No. 12 of 2016.

The Online Mining Cadastre System. The Mining Act, 2016 provides for a digital mining cadastre system for management of mineral rights from applications, processing, grant, compliance, renewals, surrenders and revocations.

The online mining cadastre system ensures transparency and accountability as mineral rights status can be tracked online and the status viewed. To access the online mining cadastre system please follow this link (to provided later).
The system has Mining Cadastre Portal Map that provides information on the location of mining blocks, their status and information of ongoing applications for rights to prospect and mine in Kenya. To access this Cadastre Portal map please follow this link (to provided later).

The Department has regional mining offices with Inspectors of Mines, Inspectors of Explosives and Geologists who are responsible to the Director of Mines, Director of Geological Survey and Geo-Information Management. They assist in the implementation of the Mining Act 2016 and Explosives Act Cap 115.

The Regional Mining Offices are in:

1)    Embu
2)    Garissa
3)    Eldoret
4)    Marsabit
5)    Taita Taveta
6)    Kwale
7)    Mombasa
8)    Nakuru
9)    Kisumu
10)    Kakamega
11)    Migori
12)    Nyeri
13)    Turkana
14)    Nanyuki
15)    Marimanti
16)    Nairobi East
17)    Kitui
18)    Baringo