Firm in steady performance despite Covid-19 pandemic
Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka
Base Titanium says it achieved its annual production target for the year ending June 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has depressed local and global markets.
While releasing its quarterly report yesterday, the Kwale-based explorer said ongoing firm demand from customers in the quarter supported further upward movement in prices of it’s products namely ilmenite, while the others namely rutile and zircon prices remained steady.
Production of the precious minerals achieved a combined total of 465,670 tonnes with sales hitting 329,483 tons for the year as demand in the international markets soared to cushion the firm against Covid-19 shocks.
“Global pigment producers have generally indicated that demand for pigment held up during the early part of the June quarter, but began to decline through May and June as the impact from Covid-19 related shutdowns in various regions started to take effect,” the firm said in a statement.
“However, the decline in pigment demand appears to have been less than initially anticipated.”
Despite the uncertain outlook for pigment demand, Chinese pigment producers - the firm’s main ilmenite customers - have re-confirmed their demand for ilmenite and their intention to proceed with planned shipments over the remainder of calendar year 2020.
Base Titanium refund claims for VAT paid in Kenya, relating to both construction of the Kwale Project and the period since operations commenced, totalling approximately $17.9 million (Sh1.9 billion) at 30th June 2020.
“These claims are proceeding through the Kenya Revenue Authority process with refunds totalling $2.6 million (Sh280 million) received during the quarter,” said the firm, adding it will engage with Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority, seeking to expedite the refund claims.