Kwale based miner to put up about Kshs 3b plant in 2018

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Base Titanium is planning to invest 2.7 billion shillings in a new plant to boost production of the commodity.

Already the company has received all the necessary approvals to start phase two that will double the company’s output.

According to Joe Schwarz the company’s external affairs manager, last year the company paid loyalties amounting to 450 million shillings to the national treasury in 2016.

The global demand for Ilmenite and Zircon has jumped by more than 50 percent in the last two years due to high demand on the global market and slackening production in key producers of India and China.

According to Schwarz, this has seen the price of Ilmenite jump 130 percent in the last one year, boosting smaller producers.

He says, “In order to meet projected demand, Kwale based miner Base Titanium plans to invest more than 2.5 billion shillings in a new plant in Kwale in a bid to boost expected demand on the world market. The new plant is expected to be operational by the end of next year.”

Base Titanium which is the biggest miner in the country produced a total of 155 thousand tonnes of Ilmenite, Rutile and Zircon in the second quarter of 2017 has also increased exploration activities around the Tanzanian border and has applied for an operating license in Tanzania to boost its regional presence.

Shwarz says after the company remitted loyalties amounting to 450 million shillings, the `figure is expected to grow further with improved prices and shipments.

However, the company is lamenting the slow value added tax refund process by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) totaling to 2 billion shillings for capital expenditure on its factory in Kwale.

In the second quarter the company received a total of 30 million shillings worth of VAT refunds from the taxman.