Global ore-mining company Base Resources on Tuesday announced the commencement of ore processing through the mining unit and wet concentrator in Kenya's coastal region of Kwale.
The firm said in a statement it plans to ramp up and stockpile concentrate ahead of its commissioning of a mineral-separation plant to increase operational efficiency.
"Following two weeks of water commissioning and control logic testing, the first ore from the central dune has now been taken through the dozer trap mining unit and the wet concentrator," the firm said.
"Over the next several weeks mining and processing rates are planned to be ramped up and a stockpile of concentrate built up ahead of the commissioning of the mineral separation plant ("MSP"). "
Experts say the government's commitment to the completion of an overarching policy and new legislative framework coupled with the unprecedented influx of investments in minerals, especially precious metals and industrial minerals are cited as the strong indicators that have propelled growth in the sector.
The East African nation has also a huge mineral potential but its exploration efforts have only picked in the last 5 years with the awarding of commercial licences in prospecting for oil, gold, coal, geothermal and rare earths.
Kenyan officials have noted that the mining industry in the region is undergoing a period of exuberance on the account of the overall growth of the East African economy driven primarily by the increase of activities in mining and national infrastructural investment.
The ore mining firms said construction work on the MSP is now in its final stages with commissioning of the ilmenite and rutile circuits and commencement of concentrate processing expected during November.
"This will be followed by the zircon circuit in December. While some small container shipments are planned during December, the bulk shipments of finished product are now scheduled to commence in January," it said.
Base Resources said majority of the supporting infrastructure is now complete, with the access road, 132 kv power supply, tailings storage facility and Mukurumudzi dam now functionally complete.
"The Likoni marine facility is scheduled for completion in November, well ahead of the first bulk shipment," it said.