Miner pulls out of Kwale over interference

A mining company in Kwale has stopped exploring on some sites citing political interference amid fears of missing huge mineral reserves in the controversial zones.

Base Titanium pulled out its machines and workers from sites around Magaoni, following what its general manager for external affairs and development, Mr Joe Schwarz, said were inflamed passions from residents against the firm’s activities.

“The current season has brought with it a lot of political interference and incitement,” he told a meeting of the economic and macro-committee of the Vision 2030 delivery board in Nairobi on Friday.

Base Titanium and Vision 2030 had assembled to sign a memorandum of understanding to have the miner as a mining flagship project.

“Misinformation by politicians has gone into inciting residents and land holders where exploration activities were taking place.

“We were working on the site when the agitation and political incitement got to the point where we decided it is not worth pursuing because of threats to security of our employees. So we suspended it,” Mr Schwarz said.

Mr Schwarz said politicians were exploiting land issues, which are already a source of strife at the Coast, in politicking and campaigning, whipping up emotions.

READ: Kwale-based titanium miner Base to pay more royalties

He urged the government to ensure disbursement of royalties to the county to calm the situation.

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