Mining Cabinet secretary Najib Balala has formally cancelled the licences of Cortec Mining and 62 other firms after the company lost a court battle in March against revocation of its permits.
Cortec had sued the government in 2013 after Balala cancelled licences of several mining companies for non performance and irregularity in acquiring them.
In a gazette notice published Friday, Balala revoked licences of 64 companies for non performance, expiration while some had surrendered their previous permits.
The move follows conclusion of an audit into licences issued between 2003 and 2013 which uncovered corruption in processing and issuance of licences in the industry, mainly to speculators.
Cortec was named in the report among firms that did not meet the terms of their licences yet they were still given permits. The company dismissed the report arguing in part that the CS did not follow due procedure in setting up the report.
However a high court ruling on March 21 upheld Balala’s move to cancel Cortec’s licence stating that the miner had unprocedurally acquired it.
Cortec was eyeing mining of rare earth metals mainly niobium in Kwale. Niobium is used to strengthen steel.
Other mining companies whose licences have been formally revoked are Bootcut Mining which was seeking industrial minerals in Taita Taveta, Saharco Group which surrendered its permit and Nguvu Construction that was interested in gypsum within Turkana among others.
More firms especially in the flourspar mining business will also come under close scrutiny over the next few months as the government moves to launch a taskforce to probe operations of this sub-sector within mining.
Balala will today unveil a taskforce to audit the flourspar industry in Kenya.
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