Delays in securing permits to exploit new mines, opposition from residents surrounding mining fields and dwindling deposits now threaten the survival of Base Titanium.
The Australian-based mining giant in Kwale County, Base Titanium says resources at the Kwale South dune will run out in two years.
It adds that the state has been slow in expanding the boundary for the firm to access more mineral fields.
The mining firm has warned that current deposits can enable the firm to operate for only another 12 months.
Base Titanium has an investment portfolio worth more than KSh30 Billion, built up over the past seven years. In 2019, the firm paid royalties to the Government amounting to KSh 2.5 Billion after earnings rose to KSh 4.96 Billion in the financial year ended 31st 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. 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 permit 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 southern dunes.
Base Titanium’s external affairs General Manager Simon Wall says the mining tenure arrangements to extend the Kwale special mining lease are progressing.
Base Titanium, a subsidiary of the Australian mining giant Base Resources Limited, says it does not expect earnings to drop significantly this year.
The firm attributes this upbeat outlook to reasonable prices of rutile, ilmenite and zircon on the international market.