Laikipia has limestone deposits at Oloshaiki area, Lobor Soit Hill, and Narupa that can be exploited commercially.
This is according to a report from a laboratory test at Madini House shows 90% presence of calcium carbonite from samples collected from these areas.
The county Directorate of Mining working hand in hand with the State Department of Mining completed mapping of Marble limestone in Laikipia in an exercise that took two weeks. This is a major boost to the journey of industrializing Laikipia through the establishment of industries to embark on the journey of processing and manufacturing.
The short-term plans we have as the county is to gazette the area as a mining block as we seek certification and licensing to attract potential investors. Director of Mining Chris Kimanga said.
Limestone is a raw material for cement making and due to the high demand for cement in the construction industry, it is expected to be a game-changer. Fine marble powder is used as a filler and coloring agent in industries like paper, cosmetics, and plastics.
Crushed marble is used as an acid neutralizer in rivers, lakes, soils, and ponds. Powdered marble is used in calcium additive feeds to dairy animals. Marble is also used in floor tiles, stair treads, window sills, and panels used for deco.
You expect if we have a cement factory in Laikipia, the price will go down, development of this area will be spurred, more retail businesses dealing in selling of cement and improved livelihood for the community. Kimanga added.
The county is very keen to create a good working environment for investors by improving our infrastructure and formulating access to benefit-sharing agreements. Taking into consideration that some mineral sites are in community lands, the county will ensure that they get their benefits when the mineral is extracted.
The directorate of mining will continue on its pursuit of another mineral in the county as mining reports conducted in Laikipia indicate the presence of deposits. The national government will also be instrumental as it has established a regional office in Nanyuki to serve Laikipia and Samburu. It will support the county with specialized equipment to survey the minerals and assist the county in the certification and licensing process. The county is in the advanced stages of drafting its own legislation to use in conducting exploration and extraction of minerals in the county.
We are developing the quarry, sand harvesting, and mining Act that will promote mining in the county. It will also stipulate incentives and subsidies to put in place in the sector while at the same time ensure the protection of both small-scale mining activities. Kimanga said.
Mapping process of limestone
Geological maps are very essential in the mapping of minerals. Aerial geographical maps display well the overview of the terrains and with the knowledge of interpretation of the maps. Mineral sites are easily identified creating a preliminary map that acts as a guide to determine points that must be observed in the field for, they are just representatives by nature.
Following the predetermined map, study samples are collected, labeled, GPS position taken, and also the date is noted. At the time of mapping, collected small representative samples of the least altered rock types are taken to the laboratory for analysis in the process which includes microscopy, chemical analysis, and spectral analysis.