NAIROBI, Kenya, July 21 – Base Titanium is set to up its royalties to the government to 5 percent from the current 2.5 percent.
General Manager External Affairs and Development Joe Schwarz says that they have agreed in principal with the ministry of mining to add up the royalties without giving timelines.
“As soon as we are able to conclude the agreement and wrap that to the mining lease we will be paying royalties at five percent, it’s a matter of now concluding the ministry of mining how we move forward with that,” he said.
The firm has so far paid royalties to the government to a tune of Sh1 billion.
In the last financial year that ended June 2017, the firm paid royalties worth Sh400 million.
Base Titanium is the largest mining firm in Kenya accounting for 60 percent of Kenya’s mineral output.
In 2016 the firm contributed mineral sands that include Limenite, Rutile and Zircon worth Sh13.2 billion.
The value of Kenya’s minerals hit Sh23. 2 billion in 2016 a slight decline from Sh24 billion in 2015 affected by poor performance in Gold production.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows the total value of Gold mined went down by 33 percent to Sh653 million in 2016 from Sh979 million in 2015.
Rutile is the best performing mineral with the value mined at Sh6.8 billion followed by Soda Ash at Sh6.7 billion.
Soda Ash value has however been going down since 2014 where it was at Sh8.4 billion, while in 2015 the value was at Sh7 billion.
Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu inaugurated the Mineral Rights Board (MRB) on Wednesday, paving the way for issuance of mining licenses as required under the Mining Act 2016.
The nine member board will be tasked with advising and giving recommendations to the cabinet secretary on granting, rejection, retention, renewal, suspension, revocation, variation, assignment, trading, tendering or transfer of mineral rights.
In addition, the MRB will have the power to declare certain minerals as strategic minerals and the cessation, suspension or curtailment of production in respect to mining licenses.
The new board will also determine fees, charges, and royalties payable for a mineral right or mineral as well as advice on areas suitable for small scale and artisanal mining among other duties.