Sand miner Base Resources pumps Sh3.3 billion in Kwale project
Base Resources, an Australian-based mineral sands miner and processor has commited $28.1 million (about Kes3.3 billion) as capital in an extraction project in Bumamani, Kwale County.
The investment would see the company extend its business in the area by 13 months up to 2024.
The ASX- and Aim-listed company said Bumamani project comprises higher-grade subsets of the Bumamani and Kwale North Dune sand deposits.
A recent feasibility study on the mineral deposits in the area showed Bumamani holds an additional 17.9-million tonnes of ore reserve that could yield 42,000 tonnes of rutile, 171,000 tonnes of ilmenite, and 20,000 tonnes of zircon minerals.
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According to Mining Weekly, Base Resources told shareholders on Monday that incorporating mining at the Bumanani project, rutile production for 2023 has now been estimated at between 62,000 tonnes and 73,000 tonnes, while ilmenite production would reach between 260,000 tonnes and 310,000 tonnes, and zircon output between 22,000 tonnes and 27,000 tonnes during the financial year.
Base Resources owns and operates the Kwale mineral sands mine in Kenya, which commenced production in late 2013.
The Kwale Operation features a high grade ore body with a high value mineral assemblage, rich in rutile.
Ilmenite and rutile are the chief sources of titanium and titanium oxide. Ilmenite is used in welding rod coatings and for manufacturing metal, alloys, carbide and chemicals.
Ilmenite is also widely used in the production of paint, paper, plastic, textiles, rubber and pharmaceutical products.
Rutile and beneficiated ilmenite are the main raw materials used to make titanium metal.
Zircon sand is used for heat-resistant linings for furnaces, for giant ladles for molten metal, and to make foundry moulds.