MoU signed to support growth of Kenya’s mining industry

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By Christine Muchira/Release

The Vision 2030 Delivery Board Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with mining firm Base Titanium Limited to bolster the growth of Kenya’s mining industry.

Under the MoU, Base Titanium’s Kwale Mineral Sands project has been granted a mining flagship project status in Vision 2030.

This is an important development given that the mining sector is the seventh sector of the Economic Pillar of Vision 2030 national development blue print.

Under the MoU the Delivery Board, which is charged with overseeing and coordinating the implementation of Vision 2030, will work closely with Base Titanium to develop synergies to support Kenya’s single largest mining investment.

The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General, Dr. Julius Muia said that partnership is key to unlocking the significant potential of Kenya’s mining sector through promotion of exploration and development of minerals as well as value addition and related linkages.

In view of the size of Vision 2030 projects, it is expected that the private sector, as engine of development, will provide over 70% of the capital and financing needs while the public sector will fund the balance.

The Vision 2030 Delivery Board therefore appreciates the investment by Base Titanium Kwale Mines, said Dr. Muia

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“The earnings from titanium will spur the government and investors into exploring other minerals that lie untapped in the country. Increased prices and earnings from titanium will strengthen Kenya’s position as a diversified economy. With time, this will help propel the economy to a higher level of development,” said Dr. Muia.

The Kwale Mineral Sands Project provides the country with a large scale modern mineral processing industry and revenues in the form of royalties and taxes and infrastructure.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Economic Survey 2017 shows that in 2016 Kenya’s total mineral output was valued at Ksh 23.3billion, of which Base Titanium accounted for Ksh 13.3B or nearly 60 percent, up from 43 percent in 2014 and 54 percent in 2015.

The Kwale Mineral Sands Project is the single largest mining project undertaken in Kenya since independence with a capital investment of Kshs 26 billion.

More than Ksh 10 billion of the total investment capital was spent on Kenyan contractors and Ksh 5 billion was spent building legacy infrastructure including a mine access road, a large water storage dam and boreholes, a 132kV power transmission line and sub-station and a purpose built storage and ship loading facility in Likoni.

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Manpower development and technology transfers will be a significant contribution of the Kwale Mineral Sands Project in driving the development of the mining industry in Kenya.

Base Titanium shall lead the growth of the Kenya minerals sector by promoting and encouraging investment in exploration and development.

Base Titanium Limited Managing Director, Tim Carstens said the Kwale Mineral Sands Project has opened up a new sector of the economy.

“With a focus on ensuring local content, prioritizing local employment and a significant community development programme, the Kwale Mine is setting the standards for Kenya’s mining sector” said Carstens.

Base Titanium directly employs 642 people. Through a recruitment policy that actively prioritises the local labour market, Base has ensured that 64 percent of its workforce is from Kwale County and 96 percent are Kenyan.

Base Titanium’s operations supports 1,400 indirect jobs in the supply chain through the purchase of goods and services in Kenya and a further 1,360 jobs are supported through induced economic activity, being mainly consumer spending due to direct and indirect employment.

Dr. Muia sees implementation of the Kwale Mineral Sands Project making a significant contribution to the long-term development programme of Kenya under Vision 2030 particularly in the mining sector and to the economic empowerment of Kenyans.

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The Vision 2030 Delivery Board will support Base in the implementation of the Kwale Mineral Sands within its mandate and Public Private Partnership framework.

This will include support Base requests for interventions on matters requiring action and collaboration by respective MDAs towards successful implementation of the Kwale Mineral Sands Project and delivery of Vision 2030 flagship project’s objectives or goals.

“VDB shall share and advise MDAs to share with Base Titanium Master Plans prepared by related MDAs or similar plans in mid and long term as a guidance and reference for Base to develop where appropriate in its strategy,” said Dr. Muia.

In return, Base will use its international networks to highlight its engagement with the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board in order to market Vision 2030 and the Kenyan mining sector more broadly.

VDB and Base Titanium will collaborate on joint marketing, conferences, and lobbying towards the mutually beneficial objectives of successful implementation of Vision 2030 and establishing Kenya as the most favorable investment destination in sub Sahara and Africa’s emerging markets.

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