Tiomin Resources (TIO-T) has acquired a three-acre parcel of land on the south side of Mombasa harbour, advancing its Kwale titanium-sands project in Kenya another step toward reality.
The land will be home to a proposed ship-loading facility for production from Kwale, 50 km to the south. Tiomin had originally intended to build a similar facility at Shimoni, but changed its plans to soothe the environmental concerns of local residents. The government had previously approved the proposed port facility at Shimoni.
The company says the Mombasa site is expected to have negligible impact on the local area with similar transportation and fewer infrastructure costs. Mombasa harbour is the second largest port on the east coast of Africa.
In other news, Tiomin says that recent legal action concerning a possible entitlement of compensation for land around Tiomin Kenya’s area of interest is legally unsupported. The company says the properties in question are situated outside of Tiomin’s existing mining lease. The company also points out that it has no intention of acquiring this area; the title deed to the properties is held the Associated Sugar Company and the Bank of India.
Tiomin is currently in negotiation to establish a fiscal/investment agreement for Kwale with the government of Kenya. Tiomin has already been issued a special mining lease for Kwale. The 16-year lease, originally issued in mid-December 2002, after years of review, can be renewed for a further 10 years. The lease allows the junior to mine and process Kwale’s heavy mineral sands.
The project is in the advanced feasibility phase, with a detailed engineering review slated for completion by the end of April. The company also recently entered the final negotiating phase for project financing and expects to begin construction later in the year.
Kenya recently tabled plans to revamp its mining laws to entice foreign investors. The government says it plans to set out concrete rules regarding environmental protection, local processing, technology transfer and royalties and taxes.
Tiomin’s shares were 2, or about 7% of value, higher at 39 in early trading in Toronto following the news on Mar. 26.