Types Of Mineral and Hydrocarbon Rights

This section contains a description of the types of mineral and hydrocarbon rights in Kenya

In Kenya, all mineral resources belong to the people of Kenya and are vested in the national government. This includes all valuable rocks, minerals, oil or gas found on or within the Earth. Organizations or individuals in counties with these resources cannot legally extract and sell any mineral commodity without first obtaining an authorization from the government.

Secure mineral rights are considered to be a critical component of a competitive mining investment climate. However, many stakeholders find themselves in the dark on matters touching on mineral rights, especially the institutions, block size and location, eligibility and processing of mineral licenses and permits. The Extractives Baraza, has developed a brief outline of the mineral rights as outlined in the Mining Act, 2016 and The Model Production Sharing Contract, 2015. With the exception of artisanal mining operations, all mineral rights are granted by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for mining on the advice of the Mineral Rights Board.


Key terms:

Large-Scale Operations

I. Reconnaissance Licence; confers on the holder the right to search for a specific mineral (or commodity) within the license area by geochemical and photo-geological surveys or other remote sensing techniques

II. Prospecting License; gives the holder the exclusive right to search for specific minerals (or commodities) by conducting geological, geophysical and geochemical investigations to determine the extent and economic value of any deposit within the license area. Drilling, excavation or other sub-surface techniques are permitted under the prospecting license.

III. Retention License; is a holding title for a mineral resource which has been identified but due to existing circumstances, cannot be mined or explored until a later date. A retention license will allow you more time to plan, to develop the resource and to obtain financing.

IV. Mining License; the grant gives the holder the right to mine or extract specified minerals (or commodities) within the lease area.

Small scale operations

I. Reconnaissance permit (RP); is a permit granted for the purpose of undertaking "reconnaissance operations" which means any operation undertaken for preliminary prospecting of a mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical or geochemical surveys and geological mapping.

II. Prospecting permit (PP); gives the holder the exclusive right to search for specific minerals (or commodities) by conducting geological, geophysical and geochemical
investigations to determine the extent and economic value of any deposit within the license area. Drilling, excavation or other sub-surface techniques are permitted under the prospecting license.

III. Mining permit (MP); the grant gives the holder the right to mine or extract specified minerals (or commodities) within the lease area.

Artisanal Mining

Artisanal Mining Permit; A Grant is given to artisan miners, to extract specified minerals within an area.

We will update this document periodically; if you know of additional information that should be included, please email us at info@ices.or.ke

Type Of Licence/ Permit Block Size/ Area (A block is approximately 0.21km2) Duration Processing Times Eligibility

Large Scale: Reconnaissance Licence

maximum of 5000 blocks (1050km2)

up to 2 years not renewable

90 Days

This criterion applies to the all Large Scale Licenses

Open to any person regardless of the person's nationality. Must meet seven (7) requirements:

1.Technical competence to conduct the operation
2. Financial resources
3. Proposals on local employment & training
4. Proposals on use of local goods & services
5. Work program with minimum expenditure
commitments or a feasibility study in the case of a mining license,
6. Environmental license and
7.Consent from the landowner

RTL-holder of a PL has discovered a deposit of commercial value but cannot be developed or proceed to mine due to market conditions and other factors.

Large Scale: Prospecting Licence

maximum of 1500 blocks (315km2)

Up to 3 years and renewable twice (9 years in total).

90 Days

Large Scale: Retention Licence

2 years and renewable for any period up to two years.

Large Scale: Mining Licence

maximum of 300 blocks (63km2)

Any period up to 25 years and renewable for up to 15years or for the remaining life of mine base

120 Days

Small Scale: Reconnaissance Permit(RP)

RP-covers the entire county

RP-one year and not renewable.

90 Days

This criterion applies to all Small Scale Permits

Kenyan citizens only or a body corporate with shareholders of at least 60% citizens.

In case of an RP-no further qualification
required but applicants for PP & MP must show proof of experience, financial resources & provide work program

Small Scale: Prospecting Permit (PP)

PP 25 blocks(5.25km2)

PP-up to 5yrs renewable once.

Mining Permit (MP)

MP 2 blocks (0.42km2)

MP-5years renewable

MP-5years renewable

Artisanal Mining Permit

The permit is for a block or 0.21km.
But fractions of a block may be granted.

Up to 3 years and renewable.

60 Days

Citizens of Kenya who are at least 18 years old. Individuals,
groups, cooperatives or associations may apply for an artisanal mining permit.

Our database is continuously updated

if you are aware of publicly available information that is not included, we would be grateful to be notified at info@extractives-baraza.com

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