Boost for Residents as Factory Targets Ksh3B in Mining Revenue

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  • The government will now generate more than Ksh 3 billion in annual revenue from value-addition and the exportation of gemstones after the launch of the Voi Gemology center.

    The newly launched Voi Gemology center in Taita Taveta County will protect miners from exploitative brokers who they currently depend on to sell their gemstones, as well as regularize incomes for small-scale local miners. 

    During a tour of the Ksh 60 million facility, Principal Secretary Tourism Safina Kwekwe said there was no reason the center should not start processing gemstones as the concerned ministry finalized the modalities of official commissioning.

    PS Tourism Safina Kwekwe addresses the media in December 2020
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    “This center was built to assist the small-scale and artisanal miners get good prices for their gemstones and shield them from being exploited by brokers,†said Kwekwe.

    The government equipped the Voi Gemstone Value Addition Center in 2018 in readiness to start the processing of raw gemstones following its completion in 2017.

    The ministry of Mining gazetted the center’s management committee in February 2021, paving way for dealers and miners to be allocated mining booths.  

    The cut stones will be sold in carats, facilitating value addition which will generate more money for the miners, as opposed to them previously selling in grams.

    “This will enable artisanal and small-scale miners especially those we used to call ‘zururas’ at the coastal belt to access international markets. They will fetch good prices for their stones,†said Voi sub-county commissioner Joseph Mtile.

    The Ministry of Mining records that Kenya loses millions of shillings during the exportation of raw gemstones to brokers and mining cartels who dictate the prices of the stones. This in turn minimizes government revenue.

    “This center was built to assist the small-scale and artisanal miners get good prices for their gemstones and shield them from being exploited by brokers,†said Kwekwe.

    The center is also expected to transform the gemstone industry in neighboring counties like Makueni, Kitui, and Kwale.

    The center will provide services such as stone cutting and polishing, banking, a gemstone laboratory, and a buying center.

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    Man mining in a quarry in KMQ area, Kajiado West, Kajiado County
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  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM

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