Kenya: Kwale Titanium Mine was to be launched in 2013

Australian diversified junior miner, Base Resources Ltd.'s titanium unit in Kenya aims to start mining in 2013, ending years of uncertainty over the project, a company official said on Monday.

Joe Schwarz, the general manager of Base Titanium, said in a telephone interview he expected the ongoing feasibility study at the project to be concluded by early 2011, and an estimated $200 million to be raised next year to kickstart the mine.

The project on Kenya's sweltering Indian Ocean coast has been held up for years by delays including demonstrations by environmental groups, disputes with local farmers over compensation for land and drawn out talks with the government.

Schwarz said so far Base Titanium had yet to sign agreements with buyers of its minerals, but said the exports would likely be destined to China, U.S. and Europe. 

"Once we have the green light on the final investment decision, building the plant will take 18-21 months and we would be able to start production in 2013," Schwarz told Reuters.

"There is a lot of interest and discussions on raising finances are progressing well."

Schwarz said the mine should produce between 400,000 to 450,000 tonnes of refined minerals per year, which would bring in about $100 million in annual revenues to east Africa's biggest economy, which lacks a modern mining industry.

The country's mining laws date back to the 1940s, but Schwarz said the government was keen to modernise its laws, pointing to a new bill aimed at improving the sector.

"Once completed, this will be the first large scale mining project in Kenya, and this will be a beacon for attracting others into the sector," Schwarz said.


The mine would have a processing plant to recover ilmenite, rutile and zircon from the mineral sand to be used to make paint, ceramic, tiles, glazing among other uses.

"The minerals are used for making lifestyle products for consumers with a high per capita income," Schwarz said.

Titanium is an important pigment for industrial, domestic and artistic applications. Titanium is a choice material for joint replacement and tooth implants, and body piercing.

Base Resources, which also mines iron ore in Australia, was formerly Base Iron Ltd. The company paid $3 million and a cash royalty to Tiomin Resources Inc in February this year for the Kwale mineral sands project.

The deal, which included the sale of intellectual property related to mineral sands projects in Africa, gave the Australian miner the project located south of Kenya's Mombasa port.

Last year, China's Jinchuan Group Ltd terminated an agreement under which the top Chinese nickel producer was to acquire 70 percent stake in the project.

The development of the project would end more than 10 years of waiting for the plant to take off.



  1. AfDB-financed titanium mining project subject to court case*
    December 12, 2007

    The Kwale Titanium Project in coastal Kenya has become the subject of an
    intense controversy in recent weeks after seven farmers refused a
    resettlement compensation package that would pave the way for Canada-based
    Tiomin mining company to exploit the mineral-rich soil, estimated to contain
    over 117 million tons of minerals used to create titanium.

    The farmers have initiated legal proceedings against the Government of
    Kenya, arguing that "the Government does not have the constitutional power
    to order the compulsory acquisition of their land." The courts are expected
    to rule on the case next week.

    Tiomin's stock took a dive this week after the company announced that the
    project's development schedule and budget would not be met because it could
    not access the project site. The project's senior lenders stated that they
    would not disburse funds until all legal matters were resolved.

    Controversy surrounding the Tiomin project has been ongoing since the
    project was conceived. Environmental groups have objected to the project,
    citing the threat to a host of endangered species in the Kwale area, which
    depend on the coast's already fragile ecosystem. A Global Response briefing
    on the project charges that the Kenyan government negotiated a deal with
    Tiomin even "before an independent Environmental Impact Study was completed
    and without the consent of the affected population - around 5,000 people at
    the Kwale site alone." According to the briefing, Tiomin announced that it
    would "rehabilitate" the site after the 20-year life of the project and
    resettle families back to the area, despite warnings from scientists that
    radioactive uranium was found in the titanium deposits.

    In July, the African Development Bank approved a $40 million loan for the
    project. The most recent controversy over the farmers' court case comes amid
    speculation that the Kwale project could become the subject of the first
    claim under the AfDB's new Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) � a function
    akin to the World Bank Inspection Panel, through which affected communities
    can appeal when AfDB "safeguard" policies have been violated.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank You,Cara Membuat Pupuk Hidroponik Cair.
      From the look of things it seems you are passionate about environmental related issues,We hope through this we will collaborate and work closely.Kindly send us a twit request at @EaccNet
      Will be delighted.
      Thank You.


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