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Kenya to host forum to explore new invest-
ment opportunities in mining sector   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s ministry of mining and petroleum will next week host a two-day forum to discuss policy and regulatory incentives required to attract new investments in the country’s nascent extractive industry, officials said on Wednesday.

John Omenge, principal secretary in the state department of mining, said the third edition of Kenyan mining forum to be held on Nov. 12 and 13 in Nairobi will help showcase emerging investment opportunities in precious metals and hydrocarbons.

“The conference and exhibition will gather Kenya’s leading mining houses and industry bodies to focus on mining and quarrying investment opportunities in the counties and case studies from successful mining projects,” said Omenge.

He said that participants who will include senior policymakers and industry executives will also discuss opportunities in artisanal mining as well as financing and regulatory hiccups that undermine growth of this sector.

“The mining community will furthermore discuss how it can contribute to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda of universal health care, affordable housing, manufacturing and food security,” said Omenge.

He said Kenya has reformed policy and regulatory frameworks to facilitate investments in the mining sector that is key to hasten the country’s transition from subsistence to manufacturing and export based economy.

Omenge said the government has already developed a robust mining value addition directory that spotlight untapped opportunities presented by precious stones like gemstone that are abundant in the coast region.

“We have developed the gemstones value addition center which is polishing, cutting and shaving gemstones with the view to adding value and commanding a better price for us as a country,” said Omenge.

He disclosed that plans were in the pipeline to phase out use of mercury in artisanal mining owing to the heavy metal’s negative impact on environment and human health.

Patrick Kanyoro, vice-chairman of Kenya Chamber of Mines said investors had forged a healthy working relationship with the government to facilitate growth of the extractive sector.

“We are getting the necessary support from the government to address issues like licensing, consent, royalties, export permits and am sure this conversation will continue during the Kenya mining forum,” said Kanyoro.

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