Chapter 2 – Mineral, Oil and Gas Resources
Opiyo Akech, Norbert
Olago, Daniel O
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The mineral, oil and gas sectors have not played an important role in the economy of Kenya in the past, but the recent discovery of mineral sands and rare earth elements at the coast and oil in the Lokichar Basin in the northern part of the country are proving to be game changers in the mining, oil and gas sectors. The most important minerals mined in the past have been mainly industrial minerals with soda ash and fluorspar being the most important products. Significant tonnage of gold was mined in western parts of Kenya, but currently only minor exploration and production from the old mine sites is taking place. However, with the increased interest and the government resolve to improve mineral exploration, new mineral finds are possible. Exploration for oil and gas has been taking place in Kenya since the 1950s, but it is only recently that significant oil finds have been reported. The findings have inspired several companies to explore for oil and gas within all the major sedimentary basins in Kenya, namely, the Lokichar Basin, Turkana Basin, the Kerio and Baringo Basin, the Anza Basin, and the Lamu Basin.