Kenya: Report claims local community in titanium-rich area has not benefited from mining; Base Titanium responds

A recent report by HakiJamii says that titanium mining host communities in Kwale area are "experiencing dire socio-economic conditions despite the mining project minting billions from titanium exploitation in their backyards." The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Base Titanium which is involved in titanium mining to respond to these allegations. Base Titanium denied the allegations and the full response is provided.

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Company response
30 October 2017

Base Titanium's response

Author: Base Titanium

“Response to Hakijamii’s draft report on Base Titanium’s impacts on the community”

Hakijamii has produced a…report on its socio-economic survey carried out in Kwale County. The survey sampled only 39 households restricted to Nguluku and Bwiti purported to represent the Base Titanium (“Base”) host communities.  As a majority stakeholder, the views of Base are barely represented and facts pertaining to its operations, community programmes, environmental management, employment practices and training are conspicuously absent.

This responding report, therefore, seeks to redress the balance by providing facts and Base’s perspectives in response to statements contained in the Hakijamii report that are either misguided or factually incorrect.

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Article
30 October 2017

Report claims titanium mining host community has not benefited from mining operations

Author: Hakijamii (Kenya)

“Titanium mining benefit sharing in Kwale County: A comprehensive analysis of the law and practice in the context of Nguluku and Bwiti”

…This report undertook a survey of mining benefit sharing in Nguluku and Bwiti in the context of titanium mining in Maumba, Kwale County. The study found out that there is no equitable benefit sharing in that context, with the mining host communities in Nguluku and Bwiti still experiencing dire socio-economic conditions despite the mining project minting billions from titanium exploitation in their backyards. A myriad of reasons account for the current situation. The major impediment to benefit sharing has been the poor negotiation leading to the award of the mining licence, a process that did not take into account the needs and interest of Kenyans. The result of these negotiations is a skewed contract for the benefit of the mining operator, but to the detriment of the Country of Kenya in general and the mining host communities in particular.

Other impediments include: failure of the mining operator to substantively involve and engage the local population in the design and implementation of community development projects; failure of the mining operator to effectively mitigate the adverse environmental, social and economic consequences of mining; failure of the National Government to remit the percentage of royalties accruing to the County Government and the mining host communities in accordance with the Mining Act, among others.

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