MAC: Mines and Communities

Canadian firm gets nod to mine titanium

Published by MAC on 2003-06-30

Canadian firm gets nod to mine titanium

By Nation Reporter

A Canadian mining firm has won an eight-year battle for a licence to excavate titanium.

Tiomin Resources Inc. was given the authority by the government yesterday to start the Sh50 billion project in Kwale.

Its licensing had been opposed by residents and organisations citing social, environmental and economic reasons.

Environment minister Newton Kulundu said the government had consulted widely and investigated the concerns.

He assured Kenyans that the ore would be processed locally before exportation and that the country would gain immensely.

A final agreement will be thrashed out between Tiomin and an inter-ministerial committee in a month.

Mining is however not expected to begin until after two years as the company prepares ground, moves in machinery and workers to the site.

The project will provide direct employment to 1,000 people and another 1,000 indirectly. It is expected to inject more than Sh400 million into the economy annually for the next five years.

The land owners would be compensated with Sh80,000 per acre and the mining will cover 2,010 acres occupied by 420 families.

Dr Kulundu said that the government had in its negotiations ensured that Kenyans were not short-changed in either the returns accruing from the project or the impact on the excavations. Geologists would be on site during mining to ensure any other minerals dug out were noted.

"For the government, this single project is likely to increase its revenue base by about 0.3 to 0.5 per cent of the current Government revenue. Its is also likely to increase the country's overall gross domestic product by about 1 per cent," said the minister.

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