The Proposed Gemstone Centre and its Likely Impacts on Small Scale Mining Industry in Taita Taveta County

  • Seroni Anyona School of Earth Sciences, Institute of Mining and Mineral Processing Department of Geological Science P.O. Box 33542 – 00600, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Bernard Rop School of Earth Sciences, Institute of Mining and Mineral Processing Department of Geological Science P.O. Box 33542 – 00600, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Plans are at an advanced stage to build a Gemstone centre at Voi in Taita Taveta County by the National government. This is a major development that will transform the gemstone industry forever. This Gemstone Center will address the thorny problems of the industry that have been arresting its breakthrough once and for all. This Gemstone Center will provide a wide range of services including gemstone banking, state of the art gemstone laboratories, gemstone buying centre, gemstone cutting and polishing laboratory, among others. This will enable the Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners access international markets within their locality. Consequently, it is likely to eliminate a number of players along the value chain and cut out the current cartel of landlords and brokers ensuring more income to artisan miners. Since Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASM) have been informal they often form partnerships with brokers who act as ‘supporters or sponsors’. This was evident at Mkuki, Kasigau and Alia gemstone mines. The brokers would provide the miners with food, water, mining equipment, contingency funds and any other relevant item critical to the process of mineral exploitation. Most of these brokers are exploitative as they get a large portion of the sales from the gemstones, since they are accorded the rights to sell the gemstone leaving only a small percentage to the actual hands-on miners. The benefit-sharing between the miners and the brokers in most cases is tilted towards the later. Hence this study seeks to examine the possible impacts of the Gemstone Center to the gemstone industry in the county with regards to the value chain and commercial interactions. The information provided was collected in the month of November 2014which involved interviewing a number of the stake holders.
Published
May 5, 2015
How to Cite
ANYONA, Seroni; ROP, Bernard. The Proposed Gemstone Centre and its Likely Impacts on Small Scale Mining Industry in Taita Taveta County. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 98-108, may 2015. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <http://sri.jkuat.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/proceedings/article/view/283>. Date accessed: 20 oct. 2019.

Keywords

Gemstone Center; gemstones; brokers; landlords; laboratories;cutting and polishing; interventions; donor; ASM