Titanium Mining in the Kwale District, Kenya

After years of local struggle against a mining project for ilmenite for titanium, exports to China have started in 2014.


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">After years of negotiations, the Government of Kenya approved the project presented by the Canadian company Tiomin Resources Inc. for the exploitation of titanium deposits located in the Kwale region. A coalition formed of local communities and human rights organizations called Coast Mining Rights Forum opposed the mega-project, as it called for the displacement of 5,000 indigenous Digo and Kamba people and would contaminate local soil and aquifers with heavy metals. In 2008-09, the Tiomin company tried to sell the rights to Jinchuan, a Chinese company. The project, started in 2013, led to forced displacements. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">In February 2014, it was reported that Kenya had joined the league of mineral exporters with the first shipment of 25,000 tonnes of ilmenite to China, from Kwale Mineral Sands Project, owned by Base Titanium. The firm, the Kenyan subsidiary of the Australian company Base Resources, was granted an export licence. Base Titanium made its first shipment of 25,000 tonnes of ilmenite — one of the major components found in the Titanium mineral ore — to China. Rough estimates show that 250,000 tonnes of Titanium ores will be eported per year from Kwale while some 3.2 billion tonnes of the same mineral deposits can be found in Kilifi area. The Kwale Sands is the first large mining development in Kenya since 1911.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Titanium Mining in the Kwale District, Kenya</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/kenya">Kenya</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Coast</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Kwale</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Land acquisition conflicts<br /> Mineral ore exploration</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/titanium-ores'>Titanium ores</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Yearly extraction of 330 000 tons of ilmenite, plus rutile and zircon. This project for mining mineral sands is geared to production of titanium. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> The Kwale project is estimated to be worth approximately US$ 47 million per year. <br/><br/> Ilmenite would be mined to a depth of 30 meters. <br/><br/> The deposit contained 309 ppm of uranium and 143 ppm of thorium, potentially dangerous for health. <br/><br/>Tiomin Resources Inc., the Canadian firm that owns Tiomin Kenya Limited, offered compensation of US$120 and US$30 per hectare transferred and rented, respectively. Since 2009, Tiomin Kenya Limited was owned up to 70% by the Chinese mining conglomerate Jinchuan.<br/><br/>It is finally Base Resources Limited (Australia) which in 2013 kicked off the project. <br/><br/>Investment of perhaps 35 billion KES (Kenyan shillings), equal US350 million. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>6400</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>350,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/tiomin-resources-inc'>Tiomin Resources Inc</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/canada'><small>Canada</small></a><br /><a href='/company/jinchuan'>Jinchuan Group Co. Ltd</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/china'><small>China</small></a><br /><a href='/company/base-resources'>Base Resources Limited</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/australia'><small>Australia</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Kenyan Government, NEMA - Kenya</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>CRF - Kenya, Kwale Farmers Movement - Kenya, ActionAid Kenya</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Malnutrition<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Court decision (failure for environmental justice)<br /> Migration/displacement</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The residents want to retrieve of their lands or a higher compensation, and the NGOs dont want the project because it would pollute the area and it is potentially dangerous for peoples health.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The Government of Kenya allowed the company Tiomin to grab the lands of native people and the project was planned to start without an EIA undertaken by Kenyan specialists. In 2014, exports to China of ilmenite sands for titanium started. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Mining Act<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Land Acquisition Act.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Base Resources project in Kwale<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.baseresources.com.au/projects/kwale-mineral-sands-project/mining-mineral-processing/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> L'Africa del tesoro. Masto, Raffaele. Ed. Sperling and Kupfer. 2006.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.bgagency.it/Site/Pages/Document.aspx?document=189" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> What in a Coconut? An Ethnoecological Analysis of Mining, Social Displacement, Vulnerability, and Development in Rural Kenya, Africa, W. O. Abuya, African Studies Quaterly, November 2013<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/Abuya-2013.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Newspaper reports February 2014, first exports of ilmenite sands from Kwale for titanium, to China. <br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000104631/kenya-joins-mineral-exporters-as-first-titanium-cargo-leaves-port" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Court restrains agency from licensing Tiomin, MAC, 03/03/2003<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.minesandcommunities.org//article.php?a=8566" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Kwale mineral sands project suffering delays in troubled Kenya, budget cut, Mining weekly, January 2008<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.miningweekly.com/article/kwale-mineral-sands-project-suffering-delays-in-troubled-kenya-budget-cut-2008-01-18" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Tiomin confident of $200m titanium deal in Kenya, Daily Nation, November 2008<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/-/1006/490180/-/item/0/-/2net1gz/-/index.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> County mining tax plans anger Kenya government, Business Daily, 15/10/2014<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Mining-tax-plans-anger-Kenya-central-government/-/539546/2486922/-/89h692z/-/index.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Kenya: Canadian titanium mining challenged by new government, World Rainforest Movement, April 2003<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://wrm.org.uy/oldsite/bulletin/69/Kenia.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>The Base Resources titanium mining site in Kwale</strong> businessdailyafrica Photo/FILE<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/titanium_mining_kenya.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Lucie Greyl</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>30/12/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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