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Kenya-Indonesia to set-up international mineral testing and certification laboratory in Kenya

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya termed the meeting as a new dawn for the mining sector in the country. PHOTO/KNA

By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

newshub@eyewitness.africa

Mining experts from Indonesia and Kenya met in Nairobi to draft a joint work plan that will see the establishment of the first International Standard Mineral Testing and Certification Laboratory in Kenya.

A joint committee has been formed to work on the technical details of the collaboration that will also include capacity building of laboratory technicians, skills transfer, and strengthening of laws and policies that guide the mining sector in Kenya.

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya termed the meeting as a new dawn for the mining sector that heralds growth and profitability for mineral investors in Kenya.

The CS added that the bilateral collaboration between the two counties is anticipated to elevate Kenya’s mining sector, investments, and other mining operations to unprecedented heights.

According to KNA, the Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs CS was speaking at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) during the official opening of the Kenya-Indonesia Joint Technical Committee three-day forum.

Mr Mvurya said the MoU signed between President William Ruto and his Indonesian Counterpart Joko Widodo in August 2023 would act as a platform for attracting Indonesian investors to set up industries and mineral-processing facilities in Kenya.

“This collaboration further cements the cordial bilateral relations between Kenya and Indonesia. We are confident that the mining sector will gain immensely from this partnership and become a key economic pillar for Kenya,” he said.

Head of the Indonesian delegation Ms Rita Susilawati, Secretary Directorate of Mineral and Coal, said Kenya’s mining sector had the potential to grow tremendously through strategic collaborations with a focus on promoting technical skills to advance best mining practices.

Noting that Kenya is endowed with vast mineral resources, Ms. Rita stated that the partnership between the two nations would transform the mining sector and position it as a top investment field for local and international investors.

“We remain appreciative of this partnership that will see both countries benefit from knowledge and experience sharing as we drive the growth in the mineral sector,” she said.

The meeting was also attended by Principal Secretary for Mining Elijah Mwangi, officials from the Embassy of Indonesia and the Department of Mining, mining investors, and legal officers.

A key outcome of this inter-state engagement would be the establishment of a world-class mineral laboratory in Kenya to meet the growing demand for mineral testing from Kenya and other regional mining countries.

Kenya’s mineral laboratory is not accredited. As a result, certification of minerals to internationally accepted standards is often done in international laboratories in South Africa and Canada.

Kenya’s push to establish an internationally certified laboratory is intended to generate millions in revenue from offering testing services for minerals designed for the international market.

The laboratory will also be critical in attracting mineral investors from other countries in East and Central Africa.

Other areas of collaboration by the two countries extend to interlaboratory comparison tests, internship programs, Critical Raw Material (CRM) joint study, joint studies on geo exploration and coal processing, and geo-scientific research to enhance technical capacity for remote sensing in CRM exploration and geothermal resource mapping.

 

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