The Star (Nairobi)

21 November 2012

Kenya: Kwale Titanium Firm Set to Have Its Own Sh1.7 Billion Jetty

Base Titanium mining company in Kwale is putting up a Sh1.7 billion marine loading jetty on the Indian Ocean for the shipment of their mineral products.

General manager in charge of external affairs Joe Schwarz told the star yesterday firm will not take its products to the Mombasa Port for export because the jetty will have storage facilities.

"We have decided to follow the trend of other miners like the Magadi and Fluorspar, who happen to be having their loading facilities at the Mombasa port," he said.

He said it will be easier for the firm to load its products at the facility on the Likoni side of the Mombasa port because "we are located in Kwale". Schwarz said the jetty will be completed in August next year in time for the first shipment of the product for export in October.

"We expect to have the first shipment of the mineral starting October next year after the completion of the project that we started in October last year," said Schwarz.

He said the project, which is part of the infrastructural development of the company, will play an integral part in mineral's export. "We had no other place to start exporting their minerals to," he added.

The jetty will be operating under the regulations of Kenya Ports Authority, but as an independent and private jetty specifically for Base Titanium products touted for exportation.

The company with an investment base of $300 million (Sh25.7 billion) in the mining sector at Kenya's south coast is expected to contribute close to one per cent annual GDP to the country's economy with $200 million (17.1 billion) in annual export revenue.

Schwarz said this will be realised once the company starts exporting the minerals. "Once we are up and running in terms of exporting the mineral products, a lot of benefits will accrue in terms of revenue and employment. We are going to contribute close to one per cent of the GDP to the economy," he said.

Schwarz also added that, "We are currently employing over 1,000 people as contractors but once we start the business, close to 350 people will be given permanent jobs both at our headquarters and the new port jetty,"

This he said will boost the region's economy as well as improve the local's livelihoods. The company has also channeled close to $80 to community investment through construction of schools and in agriculture for the locals.

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