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Public Hearings Underway For Mining Sector Reform Bills

May 4, 2024 #Kenya News, #News
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The Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry, and Mining is currently engaged in public hearings concerning two crucial Bills aimed at reshaping Kenya’s mining landscape.

The first of these bills is the Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2023, championed by Hon. David Gikaria, MP, and the second is the Gold Processing Bill, 2023, sponsored by Hon. Bernard Shinali, MP.

Dividing themselves into two teams, the committee embarked on hearings in Kericho and Kilifi Counties, led by Hon. David Gikaria and Hon. Feisal Salim, respectively.

Hon. Gikaria underscored the importance of investing in value addition within the mining sector to boost both revenue and employment opportunities.

The Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to amend the existing Mining Act, 2016, establishing a Mining Regulatory Authority and a Mining Rights Tribunal. This authority would be tasked with administrative functions, replacing the current Mining Rights Board. Additionally, a 5-member tribunal would be appointed by the Chief Justice to resolve mining-related disputes.

On the other hand, the Gold Processing Bill, 2023, aims to regulate trading in gold and gold products in Kenya, providing a much-needed regulatory framework for this sector.

Local stakeholders emphasized the need for strengthened regulations to ensure that mining revenues benefit communities directly. They also urged for the closure of illegal mining sites to prevent tragedies such as mine collapses, which have claimed lives in recent incidents.

These hearings mark a significant step towards reforming the mining sector, with a focus on enhancing accountability, transparency, and community benefit in mineral resource management.

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