Mining company, Base Titanium, is facing possible closure of its activities in Kwale and is looking for options to extend the mine life while it hopes for expansion to other areas. This happens as its minefields near depletion.
It is currently mining the last site (South Dune), where mineral concentration has significantly dropped. It exhausted the ”Central Dune’Dune’ which it mined from October 2013 to June 2019, before moving to the current South Dune.
The firm is contemplating a 12-month extension of the mine-life by mining an area near its current Special Mining Lease. This is the ”North Dune’Dune’ which had initially been left out due to low grade and poor mineral assemblage.
However, mining activities cannot occur without a deed of variation” to extend its Special Mining Lease boundary, which is still pending.
Current ore reserves at the company’s licensed area provide for 18 months of mine life, with operations ceasing in October 2022. If the extension license is not approved, Kenya could lose 65% of its mineral exports by October next year. The firm has been awaiting clearance from the Petroleum and Mining ministry since 2017 to expand beyond the current site.
According to Mining ministry data, Base Titanium accounts for 88.7% of total sector revenue. Government revenues from Base Titanium are estimated at a total of KSh23 billion over the current mine life, with KSh3.7 billion being spent annually on purchases from Kenyan businesses by the company, which has employed over 1,000 people.