James Momanyi @jamomanyi
Kwale-based miner Base Titanium is set to up its royalty remittance to the government after the company paid close to Sh250 million in the first six months ending December for the financial year 2017/18.
In the last financial year, the company, which mines Zircon, Ilmenite and Rutile minerals for export to China, US and Europe paid Sh400 million in royalties.
This took the company remittance to the government to a tune of Sh1 billion since they started production in 2014. According to Base Titanium general manager for external affairs and development Joe Schwarz, royalty releases to the national coffers will increase significantly this year once they sort out the modalities to double their royalty offerings from the current 2.5 per cent to five per cent.
“We have agreed in principal with the government to increase the royalties but as you know the government is currently in transition after the just-concluded elections and once things settle down in the coming days, we will be happy to increase royalty payable to government to five per cent,” Schwarz said.
The GM, who was speaking after releasing the second quarter operational update for the period ending December 2017, also sounded upbeat on increased titanium production this year after completion of exploration in Kwale South Dune revealed a 19 per cent increase in ores.
“An updated Ore Reserve based on the expanded South Dune Resource will be completed in 2018. The next phase of extensional exploration drilling at Kwale Operations is anticipated to commence in the June quarter in the North-East Sector, adjacent to the Kwale Central Dune,” he said.