NAIROBI, KENYA, SEPTEMBER 10 ― Australian mining company-Base Titanium has appointed Desterio Oyatsi, an advocate of the High Court, to chair its board.
Mr. Oyatsi assumes the role of Chairman of Base Titanium following the retirement of Professor Joseph Maitha after eight years of “dedicated service.”
Oyatsi, an accomplished and highly experienced Advocate of the High Court, is the managing partner at Shapely Barret & Company Advocates and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer.
He has been a Base Titanium Board member since 2016 and brings a wealth of experience in Board leadership to the role.
He sits on several boards and is currently Chairman of Commercial Bank of Africa Group and Metropolitan Life Insurance Kenya Limited. He has previously served as a director in various leading organizations, including Telkom Kenya and the Capital Markets Authority.
“We are confident that Mr. Oyatsi will build on the successes of Professor Maitha, to whom we are grateful for his leadership, service and wise counsel,” said Tim Carstens, Managing Director of Base Resources, the Australia-based parent company of Base Titanium.
Professor Maitha, a seasoned economist, who has chaired the Base Titanium Board since its inception in 2010, has seen the company through several historic milestones, including the development of the Kwale Mineral Sands Mine, the first minerals shipment in 2014 as well as its elevation to Vision 2030 flagship status in 2017.
“I am delighted to have been associated with a company that is making immense contributions to Kenya’s mining sector and the broader national economy. I credit the milestones achieved during my eight-year tenure to the unity of purpose within the Board, management’s skillful execution of the company strategy and the support of all our stakeholders, especially the government and the local community in Kwale County,” said Professor Maitha.
His successful stint at the helm of the Base Titanium Board is a hallmark of his illustrious career. His previous corporate roles have included Chairmanship of both Tiomin Kenya and East African Portland Cement Company.
He has also previously held positions as Chairman of the Lake Basin Development Authority, Director of the Central Bank of Kenya and Professor of Economics at the University of Nairobi.
He is the vice-chairman of the East African Cooperation Forum and a member of Kenya Economic Association, Kenya Institute of Management and the Society for International Development.
Professor Maitha will continue as a Non-executive Director of Base Titanium Limited until 31 December 2018.
The firm has continued to expand its operations in Kenya and contribution to the Kwale community since its inception.
This year, Base reported a 4.3 per cent rise in mineral production at its Kwale Mineral Sand Project, buoyed by increased capacity after a successful upgrade of its plant.
The firm which has been producing titanium mineral ores in the country since 2013 mined a record 3.5 million tonnes of mineral sands in the second quarter of this year, as it continues to intensify its operations at the Kenyan South Coast.
This saw production of the three main minerals-Ilmenite, Rutile and Zircon increase to a total 148,510 tonnes in the period April to June, up from 142,430 tonnes in the first quarter of this year (January-March).
The amount of Ilmenite produced during the quarter totaled 114,773 tonnes up from 111,630 tonnes the previous quarter.
Rutile production went up to close the quarter at 24,451 tonnes from 21,634 tonnes while Zircon produced was 9,286 tonnes compared to 9,166 tonnes in the March quarter.
According to the management, the increased mineral recovery was as a result of the successful ramp up of mining operations following commissioning of the Kwale Phase 2 project.
The project involved a shift to hydraulic mining as the preferred method over the conventional dozer trap mining unit (DMU), where Caterpillar D11T dozers were used to feed the DMU.