Scouring abandoned mines in search for elusive metal (gold) in Kakamega’s Rosterman area - A case study in Kenya


  • Mathew Ndeto Kyalo
  • Irene Fedha Munyerere
  • B. Rop
  • S. M. Maranga


AGSM, Comminution, Mercury, Gold resource centre


Artisanal and small scale gold mining (AGSM) is an economic activity carried out by thousands of people across the globe. In Kenya these activities are concentrated in the Western and Northern regions. One of these areas is the Kakamega County in specific the Rosterman area. The name originates from a British gold mining company, Rosterman Gold Mines which was licensed to mine gold in 1930s before Kenyans independence. Since the exit of the company operations in 1952, small scale miners have been mining on the tailings of the abandoned mines to date. The activity is mostly poverty-driven and the small scale miners face a myriad of problems including rudimentary mining methods, poor processing practices and exploitation by brokers. The mining activities pose negative impacts to the environment and human health. This paper highlights the challenges and gives some achievable solutions to improve the mining activity as well as the living standard of the locals.

Author Biographies

Mathew Ndeto Kyalo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, JKUAT

Irene Fedha Munyerere

Department of Mechanical Engineering, JKUAT

B. Rop

Department of Mining, Materials and Petroleum Engineering, JKUAT

S. M. Maranga

Department of Mechanical Engineering, JKUAT