Kwale-based Australian-owned mining company Base Titanium, has been awarded the ISO 14001:2015 certificate, making it the first mining company in East and Central Africa, to attain this accreditation.
The ISO 14001 is a set of standards put forward by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with its purpose being to clarify the best practices for organizations that wish to reduce their environmental footprint, by adopting an effective Environmental Management System (EMS).
While acknowledging receipt of the certificate from SGS (formerly Société Générale de Surveillance (French for General Society of Surveillance), Base Titanium General Manager Operation, Denham Vickers, said the certification demonstrates the Company’s commitment towards “continuous improvement and responsibility to reduce environmental footprint, by adopting an effective environmental management system in the mining sector.
“The certification means that we have properly implemented the standard and its requirements in our Environmental Management System. It signals to all our partners and stakeholders, that we are committed to the highest global environmental management standards,” said Vickers.
He added that Base Titanium will prioritize rehabilitation responsibility and to always take it extremely seriously.
The General Manager said as mining operations progress in South Dune, the mining firm is simultaneously scaling up rehabilitation of mined-out areas and returning the disturbed areas into productive land.
According to the mining Company which extracts minerals mainly ilmenite, rutile, and zircon, the certification covers the entire Base Titanium’s operations, including the Port Facility in Likoni, Mombasa.
Vickers noted that having the certificate has enhanced Base Titanium’s reputation and image within the mining industry not only in Kenya but also in East and Central Africa.
Dr. Nick Okello, Base Titanium Environmental Manager, who has been in the lead in minimizing the environmental impacts associated with mining, said ‘the Award acknowledges and recognises Base Titanium for demonstrating leadership in promoting environmental management and compliance throughout its operations’.
Dr Okello, said the Company is committed to ensuring a net positive impact on the environment, especially rehabilitation and biodiversity consideration.
He said guided by legislation, international best practices and Base Titanium’s global standards and management system, ensures that employees, contractors, and communities live and work in a safe, healthy environment.
Base Titanium has been spearheading an elaborate land restoration exercise that aims to minimize any residual environmental impacts resulting from mining operations, ensure a safe post-mining environment and create an environmentally and economically sustainable land area capable of supporting conservation, agriculture and habitation.
Dr. Okello said so far more than 600 acres of mined out land have been rehabilitated and planted with grass, shrubs and a few tree seedlings, as mining operations continue concurrently with rehabilitation.
He said mining enterprises have a different level of severity, whether detrimental or positive on the environment and thus it is vital for the mining industry to acquire an ISO certification.
The Environmental Manager said the mining firm’s current empowerment activities include environmental rehabilitation activities, setting up cotton farms for families displaced by the mining activities, poultry farming and scholarship programs for poor bright students.
By Hussein Abdullahi