Australian mining firm Base Resources has relocated its mining operations within Kwale to the southern dune at a cost of Sh1.2 billion after more than six years of mining activities at the central dune
The transition, which happened Thursday, involved relocating the hydraulic mining units, construction of a pipe bridge across the Mukurumudzi Dam spillway, supply and installation of 7,400 metres of slurry and water piping, and installation of a 8,500 metre 11kV power line.
According to Simon Wall, the miners General Manager for External Affairs, the move is part of mine planning that was conceptualised at the beginning of the project.
“Mining on the central dune began in October 2013 and the resource will be depleted at the end of this week, hence the move to the south dune,” he said on Thursday.
The Kwale Mineral Sands Project consists of two separate ore bodies — the central and south dune, both of which are contained within Base’s Special Mining Lease No. 23.
“The planning for move to the south dune began in April 2017 and involved among others, the installation of a 1.25MW slurry booster pump and a 1MW process water booster pump. All this has cost Sh1.2 billion,” Mr Wall said.
In May, the firm through a trading update said it would expand its Kwale mine to a new site with a resource estimate of 171 million metric tonnes.
The multinational said it is also planning ahead to mine in the north dune, which has 171 million tonnes of raw titanium reserves.
The company paid Sh1.1 billion tax and royalties to the Kenyan government in the six months ended December 2018, when its net profit more than doubled to Sh2.1 billion. The multinational said in a regulatory filing that it paid Sh467.4 million income tax and Sh635.9 million royalties in the review period.