Ore Extraction of minerals at the new Base Titanium site has kicked off in areas of Mwaloya, Barcelona and Mafisini in Kwale County.
Hundreds of people were compensated and relocated in 2022 in Bumamani and Mafisini in 2021.
This is after the company completed mining in Nguluku and Maumba where its operations started back in 2013.
Mining life of the company that has been exporting minerals from Kwale County, the largest export in the country, is expected to be extended to the end of 2024.
Coast Times has learnt that Base Resources which is its Australian-based parent firm said in a trading update that mining at the new site, known as Bumamani, commenced in late February as planned 2023.
The Kwale North Dune according to the report indicates that it is expected to yield up to 17.9 million tonnes of titanium ore, out of which the firm expects to get 42,000 tonnes of rutile, 171,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 20,000 tonnes of zircon.
Coast Times can also report that Base Titanium is doing explorations in other areas to the East of Kwale operation area.
If enough minerals deposits are found, the company will be able to get more mining life beyond 2024 in the area
The areas include Zigira,Magaoni,Fihoni,Majikuko,Mwandimu,Masindeni among others.
“With the recent commencement of mining operations on the North Dune, the Bumamani Project has extended Kwale mine life until late 2024,” said Base Resources managing director Tim Carstens in the firm’s financial update for the six months ended December 2022.
He added, “Beyond this, the exploration programme underway in the Kwale East region represents our best opportunity for further, near-term, mine life extension, with over 5,000m drilled to date.”
In 2022 the Australian company said that it would make a capital expenditure of Sh3.3 billion on the Bumamani site.
In the three months to September 2022, Base Titanium spent Sh1.17 billion ($9.2 million) on preparatory work, land and equipment acquisition for the site alone.
Base Titanium’s push for new mining sites in Kwale, as well as exploratory work further afield in northern Tanzania, comes at a time when higher global titanium prices have raised its earnings to a record high.
In the six months to December 2022, the miner’s Kenya operation realized revenue of $126.6 million (Sh16.03 billion), driven by a 32 percent jump in the sales price of its product in the market compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
It produced 38,384 tonnes of rutile, 170,771 tonnes of ilmenite, 14,043 tonnes of zircon and a combined 9,228 tonnes of low-grade rutile and zircon products in the half-year period.
Rutile achieved an average price increase of 36 percent compared to the previous period, while Zircon and ilmenite prices rose by 29 percent and 12 percent respectively.