The future of Kenya’s largest mining company Base Titanium hangs in the balance due to depleting minerals and delays in approving new mines.
The company says resources at the Kwale South dune will run out in two years’ time while the government is yet to extend the boundary to incorporate some additional mineral resources.
The company says the boundary has proven ore deposit that can last the company for another 12 months.
For the last seven years Base Titanium has been mining titanium in Kwale County with an investment portfolio of more than 30 billion shillings in mining infrastructure.
Last year the company paid royalties to the Kenyan government amounting to 2.5billion shillings after earnings rose to 4.96 billion shillings in the year ended June 2019.
However, the future of these investments is now in limbo as the company faces backlash from local communities in its mining base of Kwale County, where local residents have accused the Australian firm of exploiting the region.
Base Titanium holds two prospecting licenses that cover an area of more than 80 square km according to the company’s books and the license is valid until May 2021.
The firm says it will exhaust the minerals in the current location by mid-2023 subject to an extension of its mining area beyond the Kwale south dunes.
Base Titanium’s external affairs General Manager Simon Wall says the mining tenure arrangements to extend the Kwale special mining lease are progressing with the state department of Mining.
The company which is a subsidiary of the Australian mining giant Base Resources Limited says it doesn’t not expect earnings to drop significantly this year due to good prices of rutile, ilmenite, zircon on the international market.