Commodities

Nairobi firm seeks permit to set up iron ore mine in West Pokot

Coastoremining

Workers at a mine in Taita Taveta. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The firm said in regulatory filings that it is planning to exploit 1.92 million tonnes of confirmed iron ore extracts within the next 10 years, if it receives approval from the National Environmental Management Authority(Nema).
  • The firm says its proposed investment is informed by a growing demand for iron and steel products across Kenya and East Africa, largely due to multibillion shilling construction works whose demand for the products is met via imports of primary iron products.

Nairobi-based heavy construction equipment dealer Shaneebal Limited has announced plans to set up an iron ore extraction mine at Mbaru in West Pokot County.

The firm said in regulatory filings that it is planning to exploit 1.92 million tonnes of confirmed iron ore extracts within the next 10 years, if it receives approval from the National Environmental Management Authority(Nema).

The firm says its proposed investment is informed by a growing demand for iron and steel products across Kenya and East Africa, largely due to multibillion shilling construction works whose demand for the products is met via imports of primary iron products.

The firm adds it has conducted feasibility studies in Mbaru where it has discovered up to 80 metres of natural iron ore grade.

Geologist John Lugalia told Nema in the firm’s filings that Mbaru Hill had adequate iron ore deposits that could be commercially exploited.

“Though this is an average value, it should be noted the lowest acceptable iron ore grade that can be exploited profitably is 25 percent and the natural ore grade at Mbaru consists of magnetite content in the ore greater than 60 percent,” he said in the environmental impact study submitted to Nema.

“Since construction of high-rise buildings, factories and structures are on the rise, establishment of an iron ore mine is the client’s desired project,” he said in the study now awaiting comments from members of the public within 30 days after which Nema will licence or reject the project.