Australia's Base Resources begins titanium mining in Kenya
* Project is country's first large-scale mining
* Kenya seeking more revenue from nascent mining sector
By Joseph Akwiri
MOMBASA, Kenya, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Australian miner Base Resources has started mining at its long delayed Kenya titanium project and expects to start exporting minerals in December, it said on Friday.
Ranked as Kenya's first large-scale international mining project, the mine has been delayed since 2006 due to financing constraints, environmentalist protests, disputes with local farmers over compensation for land and government red tape.
East Africa's largest economy is seeking to derive a bigger share of earnings from its relatively modest and undeveloped mining sector, and the launch of the flagship $305 million project is seen as integral to that plan.
"Base Resources Limited is pleased to advise the commencement of ore processing through the mining unit and wet concentrator at the Kwale Project," Joe Schwarz, the project's general manager for external affairs and development, said in a statement.
"While some small container shipments are planned during December, the bulk shipments of finished product are now scheduled to commence in January."
Titanium is resistant to corrosion and can be used as an alloy with other metals to produce lightweight metals for jet engines. Continued...