Large-scale gold mining in Western Kenya could start next year after exploration firm Shanta Gold identified more deposits in seven different intersections.
Shanta put the deposits at 1.31 million ounces valued at Sh164 billion and expects the mining period to last approximately 10 years.
"The true width of mineralisation is estimated at approximately 60-70 per cent of the intercept core length," Shanta Gold said in a status update.
The firm said the results of the March drilling exceeded the expectations.
“These new intercepts verify the current model and can be linked with other high-grade intercepts nearby, indicating that exceptionally high-grade shoots should be present not only below the 400m depth, as previously thought, but also at the higher levels of the deposit,” said Shanta CEO Eric Zurrin.
Shanta is exploring for gold along the Lihranda corridor at Isulu and Bushiangala.
Elsewhere, a team from the Kakamega County government has planned visits to gold mining sites in the region to come up with a report on safety guidelines.
This is expected to culminate in the mapping of mining sites which are considered death traps for thousands of artisanal miners who depend on the activity for a livelihood.
Mr Evans Masachi, the County Director for Mineral Production and Value Addition, said the team will hand over the report to the Geological Society of Kenya to undertake the mapping exercise.
“We are currently undertaking a visit to the Bushangala mines to conduct interviews with the artisanal miners,” said Mr Masachi.