MAC: Mines and Communities

Tiomin wants Sh200 million suit cost from farmers

Published by MAC on 2007-02-14

Tiomin wants Sh200 million suit cost from farmers

by The Nation, Kenya

14th February 2007

Litigation can be costly.

This is the lesson for eight Kwale farmers, who went to court last year challenging the Government's move to acquire their land for titanium mining.

Tiomin Kenya Limited, a party to the suit, has requested the High Court to order the farmers to pay it Sh200 million approximately 1.8 million pounds sterling] as the cost of litigation.

The company wants the payment after the eight farmers lost in their bid last December to stop the Canadian firm from extracting the mineral.

In a suit before Mr Justice Joseph Nyamu yesterday, Tiomin Kenya Limited is demanding the amount on grounds that orders issued against it last November affected its operation. The orders for injunction were later quashed.

Last December, after a full hearing, Mr Justice Nyamu dismissed the suit filed by the farmers and ordered them to pay costs to Tiomin Kenya Limited and other respondents. On the cost of litigation, the Canadian firm argues that orders barring mining that were later lifted, resulted in losses.

At the time the injunction was issued, the firm had moved heavy machinery in Maumba and Nguluku in readiness for the first phase of mining.

Tiomin Kenya says the eight farmers, led by Mr Rodgers Muema Nzioka, had filed the suit with a view to killing the multi-billion-shilling project.

Entitled to pay

However, through lawyer Gibson Kamau Kuria, the farmers have raised a preliminary objection arguing that they were not entitled to pay Tiomin Kenya Limited any amount. They argued further that no certificate of cost had been issued so far by the court.

However, Tiomin Kenya's ability to get this amount appears remote, considering that the only asset the farmers had was their land, which is valued at Sh20 million.

Further, the farmers claim the cost demanded by Tiomin Kenya was likely to contravene their fundamental rights.

Mr Justice Nyamu adjourned that case to allow the parties to research on the issue. The case will be mentioned in 21 days time.

Last December, Justice Nyamu ruled that the Government was justified in forcibly taking over land to allow for titanium mining.

Tiomin to build power plant in Kwale

Story by NATION Correspondent

Publication Date: 2/15/2007

Mining firm Tiomin Kenya Limited will build a power plant of 16 megawatts (MW) in Kwale district subject to grant of a licence by Electricity Regulatory Board (ERB).

Tiomin's general manager, Joe Schwarz, said the power plant will be located 18 kilometres (km) south of Ukunda along the A14 road on Likoni-Lunga Lunga highway and 8 kilometres inland.

He said in a Kenya Gazette Notice No.1176 that Tiomin will on March 12, 2007 submit to the Electricity Regulatory Board (ERB) an application for a power generating licence for electricity to be used in mining project.

Copies of the draft licence to be applied for by Tiomin and other details required can be inspected by members of the public at ERB's offices along Valley Road in Nairobi

The 16 MW power plant is expected to operate at 12 MW as demand for electricity will average 10 MW, and will be built and operated according to World Bank guidelines.

Any public or local authority, company, person or group wishing to make any representations on the application for the grant of the licence must write to the Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi within 60 days. A copy of the representation marked "Electric Power Act" must also to be forwarded to Tiomin Kenya before the expiry of 60 days from January 29.


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