Concorde Resources Limited and SMS & Track (Africa) Limited are interested in exploring 521.7 square kilometers of land in Kamunai, West Pokot. The two companies have sought for permission to look for copper in West Pokot, indicating a growing interest in Kenya’s mineral resources.
If economically viable copper resources are discovered, they will add to Kenya’s mineral portfolio, which now includes soda ash, fluorspar, gold, and titanium. Kenya will enter the list of major earners from African copper production. Zambia, which earns over Sh300 billion per year from copper exports, is expected to produce 753,992 tonnes of the material this year. With a yearly output of one million tonnes, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s leading copper producer.
The combined copper deposits of the two African countries are estimated to be the fourth-largest in the world. Kenya has yet to benefit from the mineral resource boom, with overall output of commodities such as titanium and soda ash staying unchanged last year.
According to the annual Economic Survey, Kenya generated Sh23.2 billion in minerals last year.
“Notice is given by virtue of section 34 of the Mining Act that an application for a generating leads permit, the details of which and the area border routine are as mentioned below, has indeed been made under section 72 of the Act and the said application has been accepted for consideration,” Mining secretary Dan Kazungu stated in a December 2017 notice.
Copper is utilized in a variety of applications, including building, power transmission, electronic device manufacture, and heating and cooling systems.
It is also an important component in motor vehicle components and wiring, and its application is increasing in electric vehicles. China, Japan, Germany, India, and South Korea are major copper importers.
Large mineral exports, along with increasing commodity prices, may considerably assist governments in funding their budgets.
Oil production in Turkana is expected to improve Kenya’s mineral resource revenues the most in the longer term, while the nation strives to increase production of other commodities.
Base Resources of Australia is to invest Sh2.4 billion in the second phase of its titanium mining operation in Kwale next year.
The government has received royalties of Sh1 billion from the multinationals, which has been supplying titanium from Kwale since Feb 2014.
Gold production and profitability have been worse, with Gold-plat Plc in the United Kingdom projecting to produce 5,800 ounces of the commodity in 2018.