Kenya hits $100bn rare earth Deposits.

20 Jul



Kenya’s profile as a potential top rare earth minerals producer rose a rung higher after mineral explorer Cortec announced it had found deposits worth $62.4 billion. Mrima Hill, in the coastal county of Kwale, has one of the top five rare earth deposits in the world. The area also has niobium deposits estimated to be worth $35 billion.

“This is by far the largest mineral deposit in Kenya and the find at Mrima Hill will make Kenya one of the largest rare earth producers in the world,” said David Anderson, managing director of Cortec Kenya Mining. The Kenyan government will earn three per cent royalties from the nobium project and five per cent from the rare earths mining

Under the Constitution, 80 per cent of these earnings will go to the central government, 15 per cent to Kwale County and five per cent to local residents. A global scarcity of rare earth in a market largely controlled by China has kept prices high, with Japan, which accounts for a third of all global demand, hard-hit by scarcity and looking to diversify its supply sources.

China has been supplying 90 per cent or more of the world’s rare earth minerals for over a decade, but it is also the largest consumer (72 per cent in 2012). Cortec, which holds the mining licence for Mrima Hill, has also confirmed a deposit of 680 million kilogrammes of niobium, held in 105 million tonnes at 0.7 per cent niobium pentoxide.

The global demand for niobium, used to strengthen steel, is rising rapidly, with Mrima Hill now positioned in the world’s top six deposits.

… Read the comprehensive news article and discuss at East African



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