Base Resources to ship out more ilmenite and rutile

By Carol Njenga

Base Resources says it expects to ship out more ilmenite and rutile and its titanium mine over the next 12 months.

The firm projects ilmenite output to rise 5 percent and rutile to go up 11 percent.

Base Resources expects increased minerals production after securing an exploration tenure over significant land area covering previously identified targets surrounding the Kwale Operations.

Base Titanium is the country’s first large-scale international mining project.

The firm shipped the first consignment of minerals in February 2014 after years of delays.

The Kwale project is seen as integral to Kenya’s plans to expand its relatively modest and undeveloped mining sector.

Base Resources says it expects ilmenite output to rise 5 percent over the next one year to between 450,000 and 480,000 tonnes, compared with 455,870 tonnes this financial year.

The firm projects rutile output at its Kwale project to increase 11 percent to between 88,000 and 95,000 tonnes, up from 85,654 tonnes in the current financial year.

Ilmenite is mined for titanium dioxide production and used as a base pigment in paint, paper and plastics, while rutile is used in refractory ceramics and as a pigment.

The firm expects increased production of zircon by up to 27 percent to between 35,000 and 40,000 tonnes.

Over the last one year, Base resources produced 455,870 tonnes of Ilmenite, up from 427,655 tonnes the previous year.

The firm produced 85,654 tonnes of rutile in the year to June this year, up from 71,537 tonnes in 2015 and 31,389 tonnes of Zircon, as compared to 22,416 tonnes in 2015.

Base Resources says demand for zircon was solid over the last three months, resulting in strong sales and minimal stocks remaining at the end of the quarter.

It says improved zircon consumption through the seasonally strong June quarter has helped to stabilize market prices and it is expected that prices will remain at current levels through the September quarter.

Base resources projects that zircon prices are likely to remain at their current rates until surplus production and inventories are sold.


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