Kenya Renews Base Titanium Licence for 13 Months

Australian mining firm Base Titanium will not be exiting its Kwale location in mid-2022 after Kenya renewed its licence for 13 more months.

The news comes as a relief to more than 1,000 employees whose contracts would have been terminated at the end of June.

With the new development, Base Titanium is allowed to operate in Kenya till November 2023.

Petroleum and Mining Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau said, “Base Titanium is fully industrial. That is where we are aiming as a country, to encourage Kenyans to tap into and exploit the lucrative mining sector,”

If the firm gets another licence on the variation of the Bumamani area in the North Coast, it will extend operations by a further six months until June 2024.

Base Titanium’s General Manager for External Affairs Simon Wall expressed optimism after the renewal of the licence.

“The government finalised a variation to our mining licence last year that provided us with an extra 13 months to continue through to 2023. Minerals within our mining tenure area will be depleted, but we have a boundary variation location with the government, which will take us up to June 2024,” said Mr Wall.

He said the firm is at the back end of the project at the Coast as they identify satellite deposits.

“We have several prospecting licence applications with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining in some parts of Kwale and North Coast closer to Lamu. If they are granted, it will allow us to take samples to determine whether the minerals that we are interested in exist in an economically viable quantity,” said Mr Wall. Thereafter, the firm will close those areas for future mining.

In the quarterly activities report released on January 25, Base Titanium, which started operations in Kenya in 2010, said prospecting licence applications were lodged for the Kuranze region of Kwale County.

“However, application numbers and boundaries have not yet been issued. The government of Kenya moratorium on the issuance of prospecting licences in November 2019 has affected the progress of all licence applications. The company continues to work with the government, and other mining stakeholders, to see the moratorium lifted to enable the recommencement of the issuance of mineral rights,” read a statement from the firm.

In the past quarter, the firm spent $300,00 in Kenya, and $200,000 in Tanzania on exploration. It paid $18.8 million to Kenya in royalties comprising the necessary catch-up payments to the June 2021 quarter and payment of the September quarter royalty at the agreed increased rate. Base Titanium Ltd also paid corporate tax instalments of $7.7 million to Kenya for the first half of the 2021/22 financial year.

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