Kenyan Villagers Take Tiomin to Court

Jamie Kneen

National Program Co-Lead

The fight to stop titanium mining on the Kenyan coast is gaining some ground in the courts. On February 27, the High Court sitting in Mombasa, Kenya, issued a temporary injunction stopping the titanium mining firm — Tiomin Resources Inc. — from mining or prospecting for the mineral at Msambweni.

The company has now made a formal application to have the injunction lifted. The injunction suspending the titanium mining was based on an application by 205 Maumba and Nguluku village farmers set to be displaced by the Canadian firm. The farmers said that if the project were allowed to proceed, their own health, the local topography and social amenities would be affected. They said that the foreign firm was awarded prospecting rights by the government without their knowledge.

Judge Hayanga noted that there were a lot of doubts on valuation of the farmers property, and added that the environmental issues raised were of major public concern. At the same time, the judge pointed out that the ultimate ruling might turn out to be precedent setting one, useful in the determining of similar cases in future.

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