Establishment of National Mining Institute
The Kenya Mining Policy notes that Mineral exploration and mining is a highly technical field which requires specialized skills and well-structured and equipped institutions. Currently data acquisition and regulation of the industry are administered by one department (Mines and Geology) of the Ministry of Mining. This arrangement undermines efficiency and effectiveness given different challenges arising from the two mandates. Further, the existing institutional set-up lacks relevant supporting institutions, thus inhibiting effective enforcement, compliance and service delivery.
The policy further notes that the country has not adequately invested in building human capacity for the mining sector through establishing institutions for training in mining and related fields, resulting in capacity gaps within the sector. In addition, the sector suffers from brain drain in that the few trained mining professionals have been compelled to leave the country and work abroad due to poor remuneration and other incentives.
The mining policy proposes the establishment of the National Mining Institute to build capacity and address the skills gap which has over the years slowed down the growth of the mining sector. The Institute to offer technical training in the extractive industry related disciplines and ensure the availability of adequate numbers of skilled personnel such as mining engineers, geologists, geophysicists and metallurgists. The Institute is also be tasked with undertaking innovative research on the extractive industry.
Setting-Up of National Mining Institute at Taita Taveta University
The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Mining Hon. Dan Kazungu wrote to the CS for education Dr. Fred Matiangi, on 2nd August 2016, alerting him of the need to establish the national Mining Institute as stipulated in the Mining Policy. The CS Mining requested his counterpart to facilitate a joint ministerial effort to set out the Mechanism, procedure and framework for establishment of the National Mining Institute in accordance with the law.
The Cabinet Secretary wrote to Taita Taveta University informing Management of the decision by the Cabinet to establish a National Mining Institute as envisaged in the Vision 2030; and that a decision had been made to establish the Institute at Taita Taveta University as part of the Ministry of Mining MTP II flagship projects. The council and management of TTU agreed to this proposal; a joint Ministerial Committee to oversee the running of the Institute has also been set up by the Ministry of Mining.
What the National Mining Institute will do
- Increase the number of trained Engineers, specialists and of other technically skilled engineering workforce, in mining, fuels, mineral processing, extractive metallurgy,
- Avail infrastructure to support training, research and innovation on mining.
- Provide technical support and specialized services to the mining industry.
- Improve the flow of knowledge and technology on minerals between the university, R&D institutions and mining companies
- Enhance transfer of technology and increase the number of local small-scale gemstones mining entrepreneurs.
- Assist the small and medium scale miners to evaluate feasibility of their mining projects.
- Enhance the capacity of small and medium scale miners to prepare bankable feasibility study reports to enable them get loans from banks and other financial institutions for their projects.
- Increase awareness by the citizenry of the potential of the mineral sector to contribute to their economic and social well-being and how to go about tapping into the sector.
- Increase the number of miners trained in management policies, practices and technologies that markedly reduce the environmental damage done by mining operations.
Proposed Services at the Centre
- Training of students at undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma and certificate levels in engineering to service the mining, industries in Kenya in all stages including prospecting, exploration, production, and processing to highest value-added form possible at the given point in time.
- Training of small and medium scale gemstone miners and the general public to have knowledge and skills in gemology, gem-cutting techniques, heat treatment, and other gemstone value addition measures.
- Carry out Gemstone Identification, Grading and issue Certification to prospectors, miners, gem dealers, buyers and any others requiring these services.
- Host annual gem shows, exhibitions and auctions at the Centre to bring local and international buyers of Kenyan gems closer the gemstone mining communities who may never travel to such business promotion events overseas. Additionally, these annual events will also enhance Kenya’s profile as a major gem hub in the world.
- Render Pilot Scale Mineral Processing & Beneficiation Services to Prospectors and to Small and Medium Scale Miners in order to design mineral products and produce prototypes acceptable to the local and international markets.
- Transfer to entrepreneurs the Technology and Innovations resulting from Research in and evaluation of mineral raw materials, for their potential industrial applications in order to promote indigenous capacity for industrialization based on these natural resources.
- Support the needs of local entrepreneurs for management of Technology, Innovation and Business creation in the mining sector
- Offer Consultancy Services to the Mining Sector in preparation of Bankable Feasibility Study Reports for mining projects in Kenya and the region.
- Offer Consultancy Services on EIA Studies to the Mining Sector.