Kenya strikes gold as UK firm announces $1.65 billion discovery

Acacia mining said that it discovered an estimated resource of 1.31 million ounces of gold at its mines in the Liranda Corridor in Kakamega, whose grade, Acacia added, is one of the highest in Africa.

Kenya is headed for a major breakthrough in mining after a UK firm on Monday announced the discovery of high-grade gold at its mines in Kakamega County.

According to Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu, the gold discovery is estimated to be valued at Sh171 billion ($1.65 billion).

Following the discovery, Acacia said it will invest a further $12m on drilling this year in the Liranda corridor and nearby sites with known mineralisation deposits.

The company has already spent nearly $30 million (Sh3.1billion) in the past four years, exploring more than 2,800 square kilometres in Kenya since 2012.

“This is one of the highest grade projects in Africa today, and we believe that this initial resource is a first step in the delineation of a multi-million ounce high-grade corridor,” the Acacia chief executive Brad Gordon said.

Rich mining potential

CS Kazungu lauded the discovery saying it demonstrates Kenya’s rich mineral potential with huge economic value.

“This only confirms that Kenya is geologically endowed and we are going to take several reforms to boost the mining industry and make it the next revenue frontier and a top income earner for this country.

We will continue working on the mapping of all our mineral deposits to boost investment in the sector with huge unexplored potential. We look forward to work with Acacia and welcome their continued interest in Kenya,” said Mr Kazungu.

The latest development renews hopes in the gold mining sector which has had limited exploration activity, with companies in East Africa focusing primarily on Tanzania.

Kenya is one of east Africa’s least explored countries by miners, with only one commercial operation – Base Resources’ titanium mine in the south-east of the country.

With an estimated 750 million barrels of oil equivalents in recoverable reserves in the country, the latest discovery is likely to push the figure upwards to hit the one billion mark.

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