Exploration is the future of mining in Kwale County. Mineral sands exploration represents an opportunity to extend Kwale Operations mine life and with it bring further employment, economic output, development and community benefits.

 

Why exploration?


 

Based on current reserves the Kwale Mine has a limited operational life. At the end of 2022, the reserve will be depleted and the mine will close. In an effort to extend its life, Base Titanium is seeking to identify additional mineral deposits that may lie in proximity to the existing operation.

If successful, the mine life will be extended allowing the many benefits to continue flowing to the National  and County governments and local communities through employment, royalty and taxation revenues, community investment programs and stimulating wider economic activity via local content.

Prior to commencing any exploration, a systematic multi-stakeholder engagement program is developed and implemented in order to:

  • Fully inform the Kwale County Government, local administration, political leadership and affected communities.
  • Provide full details of the planned program in order to eliminate misunderstandings and misconceptions around exploration and to seek support and informed consent.
  • Explain the purpose of undertaking exploration, what it involves, how it will be conducted and the impact it will have on communities.
  • Highlight the mutual benefits arising out of the exploration program itself and later in extending the life of the mine.

Exploration is not mining; the two activities are very different and have very different impacts:

  • The work area around each drill hole covers just a few square metres.
  • The diameter of the drill hole is 7cm and only a few kilos of sample are extracted from each hole.
  • The drill rig used for this work is a Toyota Landcruiser-mounted unit. It is versatile and maneuverable, creating minimal impact on the ground.
  • Each hole is completed in about one hour, back-filled and the immediate area returned to its original condition.

Exploration creates business opportunities, such as the provision of catering and other support services to the field exploration work.

  • Drill lines are typically spaced 800 metres apart with holes placed at 200 metre intervals along each line, thus affecting relatively few land holders within the targeted exploration area. Infill drilling, where required, is spaced closer.
  • The impact on affected households is minimal and compensation is paid for damage, if any, caused to land holders’ trees, crops or other assets when accessing the site.
  • Employment opportunities exist for residents in the exploration areas – about 25 support jobs, including line clearing, drill rig crewing and sample processing positions are created.

An extension of the life of mine will generate additional export revenues, taxation, royalties and broader economic output beyond the current mine life.

  • The exploration program provides the only opportunity to identify additional resources that may significantly increase the life of the Kwale Operation.
  • A successful exploration program will enhance Kenya’s reputation as an attractive investment destination and contribute to the government’s stated objective of growing the sector.
  • If an economically viable discovery is made, mining of such a deposit will only take place some years into the future after current reserves are depleted.
  • In the event of extending the mining lease into new areas, a program to resettle affected communities will be undertaken through consultation, agreement and application of Kenyan laws and international standards to manage the compensation and relocation process.
  • As is current practice, resettled communities are prioritised for employment and other economic opportunities.
  • Significant community investment programs already provided by Base Titanium in the areas of social infrastructure, livelihood enhancement, health and education will continue through the extended life of mine and cover areas near the new mining sites.