What are the Implications of the Discovery of Coltan Deposits?

Posted on : Thursday , 1st February 2024

As it wanders deep into the depths of the isolated Kiangunguru village in the Ntharawe district of Embu County, the tiny, meandering rut slices through the dense jungle. The vegetation becomes sparse and anaemic as the short road descends into this sunburned land. It leads to a vast clearing that is dominated by a line of enormous hills made from tonnes of dirt and rock that have been mined. A group of dishevelled artisanal miners stands at the foot of one hill, hunched over a pile of rocks with a colour similar to dirt. Their sweaty, dirt-stained, and fatigued-lined features display steely determination despite the scorching midday sun scorching their backs. A sturdy miner straightens up, wearing a reflector jacket. He displays a piece of blackish rock, which he carefully examines. It’s a small piece, but we hope this discovery marks the genesis of a new dawn for artisanal miners in this region. Mr. Peterson Njeru's voice conveys a mordant dosage of cautious optimism mixed with glee. After the government's formal declaration of the finding of Coltan ore in the Mbeere and Kiritiri districts, the Chair of the Mbeere Artisanal Miners Marketing Cooperative in Embu County expressed identical feelings to many other artisanal miners in the area.


Salim Mvurya, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs, announced the finding of Coltan in Kenya a week ago following a field visit to Embu County, which includes quantities of this vital mineral resource.Due to its significance in the production of phones, computers, tablets, semiconductors, batteries for electric vehicles, and other emerging communication technological devices, coltan—often referred to as the mineral of the future—is regarded as one of the major forces behind the global technological revolution. Following the National Aerial Geophysical Survey, which was carried out to map the nation's mineral resources, 970 mineral occurrences were found throughout Kenya's 47 counties, according to Mvurya. Hundreds of minerals were mapped throughout the survey, including coltan. As a result, the ground-truthing project to collect thorough and useful data on the nation's mineral resources was started. This action will not only lay the groundwork for future decisions and strategies regarding investor participation, but it will also yield reliable data on important features of this resource. Coltan is an opportune discovery for Kenya, as the government expects the mining industry to contribute 10% of the country's GDP by 2030, up from the current 1%.

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