Australian mining firm Base Resources is seeking to expand its Kwale mine to a new site with an estimated resource estimate of 171 million metric tonnes.
The move could extend the company’s local operations beyond 2024, benefiting employees and the government, which earns royalties at a rate of 2.5 per cent of the value of export sales.
Base Resources has nearly exhausted titanium minerals at the Central Dune where it started mining and is currently shifting its operations to the South Dune.
The multinational says it is also planning ahead to mine in the North Dune, which has 171 million tonnes of raw titanium reserves.
“The Kwale North Dune mineral resource is considered to have the potential to add mine life to the company’s existing Kwale operations,” the company said in a trading update.
“On the basis of current ore reserves, Kwale operations will continue until mid-2022, which will be extended to mid-2024 subject to the approval of the South Dune mining lease variation currently before the Kenyan government.”
Base Resources added that it would shortly commence a concept study to confirm a business case, followed by a pre-feasibility study to determine the economics, and therefore viability, of any mine life extensions based on the North Dune mineral resource estimates.
The firm will continue drilling on the North Dune this year with an aim of increasing and further understanding the mineral reserves.
Base Resources recorded a 31.2 per cent decline in the value of titanium exports from its Kwale mine in the quarter ended March on the back of reduced production.