The Mining Principal Secretary (PS), John Omenge says the Australian mining firm Base Resources will be issued with an extension of its titanium mining license in Kwale County as the mining firm seeks to extend its mine life.
Speaking on Friday while engaging residents of Nguluku on compensation agreement terms, Omenge said the firm will receive in two weeks’ time license authorising mining at Nguluku area in the region.
The firm intends to shift to the second phase to exhaust the remaining mineral deposits before it winds up its activities within the next four years.
The news comes as efforts of expanding mining life time meet some community resistance.
The PS said the period stated by government would be enough for those people who will be affected by mining activities to sort out with the company in terms of compensations and relocations issues.
“We expect the company to sort out with the local residents in terms of compensation and relocation issues before we issue the license,” he said.
Omenge said the government will not allow people to be deprived of their land and livelihoods as a result of mining activities.
“Mineral extraction is an activity like any other. It is a process and we are here to safeguard the rights of both two parties. That means locals’ views must also be considered,”’ said Omenge.
The exercise will affect about 54 families who will be evacuated to pave way for the mining process to commence.
The Base Titanium Community Liaison Manager, Pius Kasim said the company has meet all the stakeholders and that the local community is no longer opposed to the mining activities in their localities.
He however, did not disclose the amount of money the mining firm will be giving per family, saying it’s confidential.
“We cannot give out the figure and it is better that way but we have agreed on important issues like how the whole idea of relocation of the affected families will be done” he said.
He added that no force will be used in relocating the affected communities to pave way for the mineral exploration.
A representative of the local residents, Kasim Ngare said the villagers have agreed to move out of the mining zone after agreeing on modes of compensation and relocation.
He urged Base Titanium to speed up compensation and evacuation exercise for local residents to settle down quickly.
Recently a section of residents filed a petition with Governor Salim Mvurya wanting the Australian firm to seize mining expansion activities once their contract is over.
By Shaban Omar/Hussein Abdullahi