A Chinese company has temporary been stopped from prospecting for copper in Mithiikwani in Kitui West until it pays thousands of shilling it owes the local council.
Zhen Hua Company been asked to pay the dues it owes the council in the last three years and a Memorandum of Understanding with area residents before it resumes it prospecting activities.
However, it has been established that the Kitui County Council has gone easy in its push to sue the Chinese firm for carrying out illegal copper mining after the director Marco Li offered to pay council dues.
"The company boss has cleared the initial Sh106,000 for three year renewable licence fee that he had not paid to the council. But he is not off the hook because he has to pay for all the tonnage of the mineral his firm has taken away from Kitui," said the council chairman John Mang'uye.
Mang'uye who had emerged from a meeting with Li and the council Treasurer Alfred Kitoo yesterday said the firm had been stopped temporarily from either mining or prospecting in Kitui area until it "entered into a bidding MoU with the copper area residents." Early this month, the council said it was considering suing the Chinese over the dues.