Mark Wainwright, MD Natural Resources and Daimon Keith, Director, Kenya Country Manager, Turner & Townsend

Turner & Townsend’s Kenya office explains the issues related to investing in Kenya’s young mining sector.

Turner & Townsend is a global company covering several key sectors. Could you give an overview of your African operations?

Mark Wainwright (MW): Turner & Townsend is a global capital programs professional services company that has been serving the industry for more than 70 years, representing the commercial interests of owners and operators, across the spectrum from junior to major companies, as well as funders. We have over 4,000 staff and an annual global turnover of more than half a billion USD. Our services cover the entire capital project life cycle, from the pre-feasibility stage onwards and includes advising on supply chain strategy, estimating an asset’s cost and schedule, managing contractual arrangements with the supply chain, execution and commissioning the asset.

Daimon Keith (DK): Africa is one of our eight global focus regions; we have been here for 34 years, first entering Africa on the back of our global mining clients. Now have almost 300 staff. We see East Africa, and particularly Kenya, as a key country to drive growth in the region and the continent . Mirroring our global business portfolio, the Africa business’s focus is split across property infrastructure and natural resource (mining, oil and gas) sectors.

What are the main challenges facing your clients in Kenya’s mining sector? Continue reading

Lojomon Biwot, Non-Executive Director, Kilimapesa Gold and Chairman, Kenya Chamber of Mines

Kilimapesa has commissioned stage one of a new processing facility at its gold mine in Kenya.

Kilimapesa was the first gold mine to be commissioned after independence. What have been the key developments over the years?

Exploration began in 2007. The initial area of interest was originally licensed to a company called Sebimu and, as they were also looking for investors and partners, we reached an agreement in which we attained part of the license. We then acquired an exploration license and carried out a detailed drilling program, analyzed the results, and realized we had gold potential. The confirmed resource was close to 700,000 ounces. We then selected another area and acquired the license in 2011. We were very grateful to the government, as this was the first license to be issued for gold mining since Kenya’s independence.

We went into production immediately, upgrading the facility that was there. The gold price has been a major challenge and we had to reduce staff numbers over the years. For a period, the operations were put under care and maintenance. However, we are now out of that, and the gold prices are looking up. Our production is still relatively low, producing between five and ten kilograms of gold every month, but last year we decided to expand the company. This expansion is currently underway with the objective to crush around 3,000 tons of ore every month. This is a huge step up, and our long-term target is to crush around 6,000 tons per month. Some of the required equipment has been mobilized from Ghana. We hope that by December the new plant will be fully operational.

Goldplat also has operations in Ghana and South Africa. How does Kenya’s business environment compare, particularly with regard to investor support? Continue reading

Is Kenya’s Service Sector Ready to Support a Potential Influx of Mining Activity?

With major investments in the mining industry expected, Kenya must gear up its service offering

By Catherine Howe

IMAGE: Base Titanium

There are a number of service companies operating in Kenya with an excellent reputation, strong capabilities and extensive local knowledge. Panafrican Group, for example, is a major player in East Africa, providing and supporting mining equipment, and distributes Komatsu and Wirtgen brands. “A large part is knowledge of the environment and having a clear understanding of what is really possible, how long it will take and what it is going to cost,” commented Gregory Jackson, regional manager at Panafrican Group. “There is a lot of excitement in Kenya and on top of that excitement there are a lot of resourceful people in this industry with a good problem-solving attitude. There is a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, so there are a lot of good partners to work with here.” Continue reading

Erwin Spolders, CEO, Redavia

Redavia is the African market leader of rental solar for mining.

Could you provide a brief introduction to Redavia and an overview of its presence across Africa?

Redavia rents containerized solar farms to remote industrial off-grid operations, particularly in mining. Our primary market today is Tanzania, followed by Kenya. In mining, we are interested in anything above 1MW of solar capacity, which will include any gold mine in Africa.

We are also working on a few deals in West Africa, which we hope to sign in 2017. To begin with, however, we wanted to set up a core business in one country, anchored by the Shanta Gold project. Redavia is now the largest solar farm operator in Tanzania, with a few further projects in the food processing and utilities sectors.

How does the business environment and infrastructure for energy and renewables in particular compare between Tanzania and other African countries? Continue reading

Increasing Development and Return in Kenya’s Gemstone Industry

Whilst Kenya’s gemstone industry is mostly informal, the government is attempting to legalize and industrialize the sector.

By Catherine Howe

IMAGE: Courtesy of Base Titanium

The third largest producer of soda ash worldwide and seventh of fluorspar, Kenya is also home to a large cocktail of minerals and gemstones, including ruby, tsavorite, sapphire, several types of garnet and tourmaline. East Africa is one of the most prominent suppliers of gemstones worldwide but, despite an apparent wealth of precious stones, Kenya remains relatively underexplored and little data on the quantity and quality of resources present is available.

A push by the government to increase development of the extractives sector to account for 30% of GDP from a relatively low 1%, Continue reading

Kimani P. Wainaina, Executive Director, Kencoal Ltd

KENYA Special

How did you come to establish Kencoal Ltd?

Seven years ago in December 2009, with no background in geology or exploration, I applied for an exploration license. Four years into the exploration we sank our first exploration well and intercepted coal at a depth of 80m. In 2014, we sank a second well up to a depth of 100m and intercepted a coal occurrence between the depths of 75m to 100m. Had we continued drilling past 100m we would have intercepted gold and copper.

In 2015, we sank a total of fourteen wells, and of these only three did not intercept coal. We can confirm that we have two occurrences of coal, the first between depths of 20m to 35m with a combined coal seam of 6m, and the second between depths of 70-105m with a combined coal seam of 12m. In 2016 we drilled an additional ten wells, which further confirmed the two occurrences of coal spread across an area of 8 sq. km. Two of the ten wells intercepted gold and copper lying beneath the coal, and we are in the process of raising capital to drill several more wells specifically to target gold and copper as we continue to quantify the coal.

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Denis Kakembo, Senior Tax Manager, Deloitte East Africa

KENYA Special

Deloitte is very well established globally. How does the company serve East Africa’s mining industry?

Deloitte East Africa has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, but also has offices in Mombasa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi. We draw on our wide global network to serve extractive players, including the upstream petroleum and mining companies. We are dominant in the extractive space in East Africa and serve most of the licensed companies and their subcontractors.

In Kenya, we have had recent discussions with the Cabinet Secretary for Mining, who is very passionate and enthusiastic about the industry, and has proposed to formulate a six pack model – a one stop depository of all policies relating to country’s mining sector. We have emphasized to him the necessity of having in place a comprehensive and holistic mineral fiscal policy as part of his six pack initiative that will inform the evolution of the country’s mining taxation and fiscal regime going forward. We await to see how this will be implemented.

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