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Kwale Base Titanium mining firm say first quarter exports decline

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A Kenya-based firm says its titanium exports declined in the first quarter of 2019 due to depletion of mineral resources, an industry executive said on Monday.

Simon Wall, general manager of external affairs at Base Titanium which operates the Kwale Mineral Sands project, told journalists in Nairobi that ilmenite exports, which contains titanium oxide declined to 81,339 tons in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 140,665 tons in the first quarter of 2018.

"Our focus for the first quarter continued to be maximizing mineral recoveries under a high tonnage, low grade regime," Wall said.

Base Titanium, which is a subsidiary of Australian mining giant Bases Resources said that it pays a royalty fee of 2.5 percent of all sales to the government.

He noted that currently the bulk of its production is exported for value addition abroad mainly to China and the United States.

Wall added that constraints on the global supply of sulphate ilmenite continued in the first quarter of 2019 as the supply from two major ilmenite producing countries India and Vietnam have declined sharply.

He observed that most ilmenite is used in the manufacture of pigment for paint for use in sectors such as housing and automobile industries.

In the first three months of 2019, Base Titanium said that it also exported 14,593 tons of rutile which contains titanium oxide, down from 25,526 tons in a similar period last year.

Wall added that the firm also exported 7,260 tons of Zircon in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 9,884 tons for the first three months of 2018.


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