The government has suspended all mining activities at Macalder gold mines in Migori county.

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This follows public outcry overexploitation by foreign miners.

Principal Secretary for Mining and Petroleum John Omenge on Monday directed the closure of all mining activities at Old Macalder Copper mines in Nyatike Sub County and all machinery on the site impounded.

Omenge who was speaking at Macalder mines regretted the unlicensed traders by were illegally carrying mining activities at the site without the approval of the ministry.

The PS directed police to impound heavy trucks and excavators and prosecute those found to be illegally operating at the mines.

"All those operating at the mines will be arrested and charged at the court of law for carrying mining activities without following the due legal process," he said.

Omenge revealed that a delegation from Macalder visited his office in Nairobi asking him to stop what the locals termed as ‘heavy illegal mining’ at Macalder.

He urged police to investigate and charge the owners of the mining machinery at the site.

"The government will not tolerate artisanal mining anymore. There are strict regulations governing the mining sector but the use of unlicensed equipment has derailed the whole process," the PS said.

He also noted that there was no single licensed mining company in Migori County adding that anyone carrying mining activities is doing it illegally.

Currently, there are more than 60 Leaching Plants at Macalder mines. 

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