Elemental acquired a 0.25% GRR royalty on the Kwale mine in February 2017. In 2019, Kwale provided US$0.5m in gross royalty revenue to Elemental.
The Kwale mineral sands mine is located in Kenya 10km inland and 50km south of Mombasa, the principal port for East Africa. Kwale was acquired by Base Resources Limited (ASX & AIM: BSE) in 2010 and following a feasibility study and financing commenced production 2013.
Kwale produces ilmenite, rutile and zircon using hydraulic mining feeding a wet concentrator plant. The resulting mineral concentrate is then processed to clean and separate the ilmenite, rutile and zircon minerals using combination of attritioning, electrostatic separation, magnetic separation, classification and gravity separation. The ilmenite and majority of the rutile is then transported to Base’s Likoni Port facility, with the balance of the rutile and all of the zircon transported to the main Mombasa port in containers.
The operation is now producing more than 90ktpa of rutile, 400ktpa of ilmenite and 30ktpa of zircon, making Base a significant producer of mineral sands products.
Base have recommenced exploration, recently added Resources to the southern dune and intend to convert into Reserves after an extension of the mining tenement is approved. Work has also started to the north on additional dunes. Heavy minerals commodity prices are expected to remain strong in the medium term.