Base Titanium, a Kwale based mining firm will now be able to export its titanium ore after its lenders pushed its repayment debt of KES 19.1 billion ($251 million) to June 2015.According to Base Resources, the first principal repayment will be deferred from December to June 2015 and the debt repayments during the 2015 financial year will be reduced from KES 4 billion ($45.9 million) to KES 977.3 million ($11 million).
In October 2013, the company had anticipated to begin earning from its titanium ore but due to years of delays experienced in obtaining an export licence it pushed its export date to February this year where it made its first shipment of minerals from Kenya worth KES 387 million at the port of Mombasa.
The ongoing four year exploration activity at Kwale mining site saw an initial 25,000 tonnes of IImenite extract of titanium mineral loaded to the ship for export to China.
Since 2006, the project has faced a lot of challenges ranging from financial constraints, protests from environmental activists and local disruption from farmers who want land compensation and bureaucracy. Currently, the company is in a tussle with Kwale county government which wants to hit it with export levy.
Base Titanium Kenya is funded through a combination of debt and equity with lenders comprising of banks and development financial institutions with an approximate lifespan of between 11-14 years.