Kenya

Kwale Operation

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Ilmenite
  • Rutile
  • Zircon
Mining Method
  • Hydraulic mining
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotKwale mine incorporates the Kwale South Dune, Kwale North Dune and Bumamani deposits.

Significant progress was made to extend Kwale Operations'mine life over 2023 year through implementation of the Bumamani Project, which will extend mine life until late 2024. Further mine life extension beyond this is dependent on the discovery of near-mine economically viable deposits.
Related Asset

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Base Titanium Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
Base Resources Ltd. 100 % Indirect
Base Resources operates the 100% owned Kwale Operations.

The Base Resources’s wholly owned subsidiary, Base Titanium, holds Prospecting Licence 2018/0119 and Special Mining Lease 23 which contain the Kwale South Dune, the Kwale North Dune and Bumamani deposits.

Deposit type

  • Sandstone hosted
  • Sedimentary
  • Mineral sands

Summary:

The Kwale Project initially comprised three areas that contained concentrations of heavy minerals. They were the South Dune, Central Dune (now totally depleted by mining and currently the repository for sand tailings from the South Dune) and the North Dune deposits, with the Bumamani deposit being discovered subsequently.

THE NORTH DUNE
The North Dune is part of the extensive Kwale Dune systems comprising of reddish, windblown Magarini sand formations that overlie a sequence of mineralised clay-rich fluviatile units, which in turn overlie a Mesozoic sandstone Base, known as the Mazeras formation. These three units are separated by lateritic paleo-surfaces which signify a time-gap between the geological formations. The Mazeras Sandstone, derived from the disintegration of the Mozambique Belt metamorphic rocks, has likely provided the supply of heavy minerals to the Magarini sand dunes and the fluviatile formations. Exploration of the Kenyan coastline is yet to be successful in terms of mineralised paleo-strandlines related to fossil marine terraces, as these are likely buried beneath recent barren fluvial overburden or were just not developed owing to reduced energy levels from a fringing coral reef that has acted as a barrier to effective winnowing and reworking of HM deposits.

The uppermost zone at Kwale North, referred to as Ore Zone 1, is a dark brown, predominantly fine grained, well sorted silty sand with very little induration. It is also characterised by a clean, high value heavy mineral assemblage. Ore Zone 4 lies below Ore Zone 1 with a clear lateritic boundary observed in the field with slightly difficult bit penetration, and in HM sink logs, exhibiting elevated iron oxides. Ore Zone 4 is lower in valuable heavy mineral content, often dominated by iron oxides and Al2SiO4 polymorphs (kyanite, andalusite and sillimanite). It is considered a fluvial deposit based on the difficulty of wash and the poor grain sorting. Ore Zone 5 lies below Ore Zone 4 and is separated from that zone by a lateritic paleo-surface. It is unique mineralogically due to an increased amount of almandine garnet that reports to the mag fraction, significantly increasing the magnesium, manganese, aluminium and silicon in the oxide chemistry.

Kwale North Dune Mineral Resources estimate is approximately 6,300m along strike and about 1,200m across strike on average, The average thickness of Ore 1, Ore 4 and Ore 5 are approximately 10m, 7m and 5m respectively.

THE BUMAMANI
The Bumamani deposit is part of the extensive coastal Plio-Pleistocene Magarini Formation, which comprises aeolian dunal sands and clay-rich fluviatile units that overlie down-faulted Jurassic and Tertiary formations. The presence of a thin, discontinuous laterite layer seen at the base of the dune sands is considered to indicate a change of climate in contradistinction to the underlying fluviatile sediments. These units are locally enriched with heavy minerals, primarily ilmenite, rutile and zircon as well as significant silicate gangue in the lower fluviatile units. The hinterland ‘Mozambique Belt’ metamorphic formations are considered the likely HM feed source for the Kwale deposits. Exploration along the Kenyan coastline is yet to be successful in terms of mineralised paleostrandlines related to fossil marine terraces, perhaps due to low wave energy levels caused by the fringing reef acting as a breakwater, thus preventing effective HM winnowing and trapping.

The uppermost zone at Bumamani, referred to as Ore Zone 1, is a dark brown, predominantly fine grained, well sorted silty sand with very little induration. It is also characterised by clean, polished HM with minimal gangue minerals. Ore Zone 4, underlying Ore Zone 1 is a sandy-clay fluviatile unit with low-level sorting and common lateritic fragments. The HM from this zone contains more lateritic aggregates. The Basement zone is a low-grade, clay rich, fluviatile unit with a difficult to impossible washability. The HM from this zone is notably enriched in gangue silicates.

The Bumamani Mineral Resource is approximately 1,600m along strike and 500-700m across strike on average. The deposit thickness averages 10m.

THE SOUTH DUNE
The Kwale South Dune deposit is an aeolian detrital heavy mineral sand deposit.

Kwale Operations’ deposits sit on top of an erosional high which is dissected by streams. The extent of geological and mineralised zones is constrained by the erosional surface surrounding the basement high. Heavy mineral grade and geology is consistent within mineralised horizons, typical of aeolian deposits. Grade and geological continuity in the lower mineralised horizon (Ore Zone 4) is compromised by variable induration.

The Kwale South Dune deposit is approximately 6.5km long, 300-1,000m wide and approximately 12-20 m thick on average. Mineralisation is present from surface over the majority of the deposit.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnits202420232022202120202019201820172016
Ilmenite Mineral in concentrate t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe402,698464,988467,359455,870
Rutile Mineral in concentrate t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe92,39391,67290,62585,654
Zircon Mineral in concentrate t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe31,94137,15734,22831,389
Heavy Minerals Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe644748708734
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics20232022202120202019201820172016
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe17,822,324 t11,332,668 t11,014,939 t9,202,554 t

Production Costs

CommodityUnits202320222021202020192018
Total cash costs (sold) Heavy Minerals USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 153 / t   120 / t  
Operating margin Heavy Minerals USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 248 / t   210 / t  

Financials

Units202320222021202020192018
Capital expenditures M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 18.5   31.2  
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 209.5   198.8  
Operating Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 77.7   79  
Pre-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 58.7   51.7  
After-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 47.9   42.4  
EBIT M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 68.4   67.7  
EBITDA M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 120.3   115  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

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EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
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Aerial view:

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