Base Titanium escalates rehabilitation of quarries in Kwale

base titaniumTRIALS: A section of rehabilitated mined areas undergo agricultural trials by Base Titanium in Kwale county on January, Sunday 1, 2023.

Australian Mining Company, Base Titanium has escalated efforts to rehabilitate and restore the mined-out areas in Kwale county.

The firm’s External Affairs General Manager Simon Wall said they have progressed well in rehabilitating areas disturbed by mining activities.

According to the General Manager, the company has been able to successfully rehabilitate 71 percent of mined-out areas in both the Central and South dunes.

Wall said they have also rehabilitated, restored and established new wetlands within the areas of mining operations.

He said since the rehabilitation and ecological restoration works commenced substantial evidence of functioning ecosystems is being observed in the areas.

“Monitoring by our biodiversity specialists, officials from the National Museums of Kenya and the African Butterfly Research Institute is finding proof of a thriving ecosystem in the rehabilitated and restored areas which are providing habitat for both floral, aquatic and terrestrial animal species,” he said.

He said a total of 113 species of birds, a good representation of butterfly species, 17 amphibians and 11 species of reptiles have been recorded.

The GM further stated that the company has managed to achieve the rehabilitation and restoration works by putting into trial different land preparation techniques, bank stabilization methods, green manure for soil improvements and a variety of pioneer plant species to ensure high-quality outcomes.

Some of the rehabilitation works include backfilling of mining pits, tree and grass planting and agricultural trials for post-mining land use.

Wall said they opted to use locally sourced material from the mining-affected communities as a way of creating job opportunities and improving their lives.

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“In undertaking the rehabilitation, we actively seek out opportunities to partner with the local communities to provide additional sources of income to the villages surrounding the mine site,” he said.

He said the firm directly bought the indigenous grass seeds, legumes, and farm yard manure from the locals to help in the rehabilitation and restoration process.

Wall said at the moment agricultural trials have proved to be effective as various food and cash crops have done well.

Crops like sorghum, maize, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cotton, cassava, mango, cashew nuts, citrus and bananas have successfully yielded good results.

Wall said the tests for the Post Mining Land Use (PMLU)are meant to offer valuable insights into the potential of the mined soil for government to decide after mineral deposits are exhausted.

“A PMLU project aims to define a suite of suitable options, that have been tested and developed to maximize post-mining results, for presentation to the host nation government for a final selection decision,” he said.

The firm is at the moment mining at the southern dune ore body, the last bloc of the mineral deposits that are expected to be exhausted before embarking on mining activities in Mafisini and Bumamani following a Special mining lease extension which take mining operations to the tail end of December 2024.

However Base has also applied for various exploration licences in a bid to find new resources to prolong their stay in Kenya.

Already the company is conducting exploration drilling in neighbouring Tanzania for mineral resources ( Ilmenite, Rutile and Zircon.

Base company mainly specialises in Mining minerals sands (Zircon, Rutile and Ilmenite) products used in everyday life including paint pigment, refractory equipment, and production of Titanium metal used in aerospace and joint replacement as well as tiles among other items.

The External Affairs General Manager said Base is committed to working within a suitable environment and leaving it healthier and more productive through informed rehabilitation.

Wall said they will focus on continuing to progress rehabilitation and restoration outcomes within the Kwale mine site for better results.

He said they have responded appropriately and acquired the necessary expertise to care for and maintain the rehabilitated areas to enhance sustainable environmental conservation.

Wall said Kwale mine operations has significant infrastructure that can be harnessed for the Post Mining Land Use.

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