Mineral sands developer Base Resources is set to earn $140-million from exports from its titanium mine in Kenya this year.The Kwale mine generated revenue of $90-million in 2015, up from $85-million in 2014.
“We have recorded impressive growth in a year characterized by strong operational achievement and positioning for growth, amid a very unfriendly market that is showing distinct signs of improvement,” says Base Resources MD Tim Carstens.
He adds that the increased revenue expected this year will see the Kenyan government earn $19.2-million in royalties from Kwale.
During the 2015 financial year, Base Resources produced 85 654 t of rutile, 455 870t of ilmenite and 31 389 t of zircon.
This year, the company has set itself a target of increasing rutile, ilmenite and zircon production by 11%, 5% and 27% respectively.
“Base Resources is actively pursuing both medium- and long-term growth options to capitalise on our capabilities, market position and the mineral sands outlook to create shareholder value,” says Carstens. The increasing earnings have seen titanium cement its position as Kenya’s highest-earning mineral, opening a wide lead on soda ash and gold.
Base Resources’ impressive performance comes at a time when Kenya is implementing strategies to make the mining sector attractive to foreign investors and transform it into a driver of economic growth.
The East African nation’s ambition is for the minerals sector to contribute about 10% to gross domestic product annually by 2030. Currently, the sector contributes a paltry 1%.