Base Titanium is set to extend operations in Tanzania amid delays in the issuance of prospecting licenses in Kenya.
The firm, which has been mining titanium ores in the country since 2013 with the first shipment in February 2014, has been granted three prospecting licenses by the Tanzanian government, applied during the second quarter of this year (April-June).
“The company lodged four prospecting licence applications in Tanzania for areas adjacent to the Kuranze region in Kenya. Subsequent to the quarter-end, three were granted subject to the company’s formal acceptance and payment of processing fees and annual rent,” it states in its latest quarterly results.
Operation activities in Kenya have been slowed down with delays in the issuance of licenses, mainly on a government moratorium put in place in November 2019. The company has also faced resistance from a section of the community in Kwale where it has been keen to explore.
“Completion of the remaining drilling program (4,200 metres) in the North-East Sector (Kwale East) of PL 2018/0119 remains on hold pending community access being secured. Three prospecting licenses for Kwale and Lamu, applied in 2019, are yet to be granted,” said the company.
The Petroleum and Mining ministry has however agreed to a licence that will allow the company tap an area near its current site in Kwale, which will extend its mine life by one year, CS John Munyes said the firm’s application for the extension has been approved.
“We have looked at the application and a license will be issued soon. Base Titanium has put in place the required measures, including earning a social license to operate in Kenya. The government placed the temporary measure to allow aerial mapping of Kenya’s mineral deposits, which is currently 90% complete, according to the ministry. Once complete, the findings will form the decision to end the freeze,” said Munyes.