China and Kenya have signed a deal to fund the East African nation’s airborne mineral survey, senior Kenyan government official said.

Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu said in a statement released on Wednesday that the National Treasury has signed off a multi-billion-loan agreement with China’s Exim Bank, paving the way for the funding of Kenya’s nationwide airborne geophysical survey.

“The 70 million U.S. dollars project is set to map Kenya’s minerals and natural resources in order to attract more mineral investment into the country among other key benefits,” Kazungu said.

The Chinese loan follows the signing of the government-to-government framework agreement in July.

Kazungu noted that the loan agreement documents have been sent to China and upon completion of the paper work, the project will officially be launched with approval from Attorney General.

The CS said that the plan is to have the project kick off in November. The mapping is estimated to take three years.

The airborne survey will be conducted by Geological Exploration Technology Institute of Jiangsu Province, China (GETI).

In April, a team from Kenya’s Ministry of Mining, National Treasury and the Attorney General’s office travelled to China as part of the process of completing legal, financial and technical due diligence on GETI’s ability and expertise in carrying out the airborne survey.

Kazungu said that upon commencement of the mapping, the Ministry of Mining will have a team of 16 Kenyan geoscientists to provide technical oversight and monitoring of the project.

The ministry has also retained a team consisting of Britain’s International Geoscience Services (IGS) and Canada’s Patterson and Grant to act as independent supervisors on behalf of the ministry.

The CS noted that the role of supervisors is to ensure that the nationwide airborne survey is done according to global standards and that Kenya’s geo data is secured. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh