Kenyan county to mine diatomite with Chinese firm

diatomite Patrice Anglade flickrKenya’s Baringo County has signed a US$71mn deal with Chinese firm Chuansian International Company to mine 200,000 tonnes of diatomite annually

Located in the Rift Valley region, Baringo County is rich in ruby, iron ore, gold, manganese and fluorspar — with many of these natural resources lying unexploited.

Benjamin Cheboi, county governor, said, “Over 300 jobs will created by the deal with further growth expected in local economic activities. We will offer an enabling environment to attract local, inter-county and international investors. We are liaising with the central government to ensure security for the investors.”

Li Song, director with Chuansian International, noted that local residents will benefit from the project through social amenities such as boreholes, schools and hospitals. He added that China would a major market for the diatomite which is used for filtration and in aviation.

Five processing plants will be constructed in the next three years.

Recently, the county also signed a US$7bn deal with Cummins Cogeneration Kenya Limited for the generation of power through biomass obtained from Prosopis weed- endemic in the region. The project seeks to generate over 10,000MW of clean energy by year 2020.

— By Mwangi Mumero

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