Phosphate plundering in Western Sahara:the illegal explotation goes on
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The extraction and export of phosphoric rock from the Bou Craa mines at El Aaiun, Western Sahara, is increasing day by day.

Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) continues to monitor phosphate rock exports from occupied Western Sahara.  This update report provides details of exports and vessels involved in the trade over the period from 1 June until 31 August 2012 (the Observation Period).
Published: 09.09 - 2012 18:25Printer version    
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) continues to monitor phosphate rock exports from occupied Western Sahara.  This update report provides details of exports and vessels involved in the trade over the period from 1 June until 31 August 2012 (the Observation Period).

During the Observation Period a total of 20 bulk carriers called into the phosphate loading dock at El Aaiun on average of every 4-1/2 days and with a cargo capacity of 40,000 tonnes.  The vessels were monitored for the time taken to be loaded and their destinations.  A table giving details of the vessels and their destinations is part of this report.

During the Observation Period, the 20 vessels carried away (or were due by early September to carry away) a total of 814,000 tonnes of Saharawi phosphate.  Rounding this amount to 800,000 tonnes for the three months of the Observation Period, an annual average export of 3.2 million tonnes is calculated.  However, the five month period from 1 January until 31 May had fewer bulk carrier arrivals at El Aaiun.  As such total phosphate exports in 2012 from occupied Western Sahara will probably be in the range of 2.5 to 2.8 million tonnes.  

During the summer 2012 Observation Period, the market price for phosphate rock of the quality produced at the Bu Craa minesite averaged $175/tonne.  Therefore, the total market value of phosphate rock exported from Western Sahara during the Observation Period was (814,000 tonnes x $175/tonne =) $142,450,000.  It follows that the predicted market value of phosphate exports from occupied Western Sahara for 2012 will be at least $400 million.  

The export trade in phosphate continues to enrich Morocco as the occupying power in Western Sahara.  Despite its value, the export of phosphate rock remains unremarked by the United Nations and the organized international community.  There has also been little concern expressed about the depletion or long term exhaustion of phosphate rock reserves at Bu Craa.  The current export trade is depleting the resource at a rate of at least 2 % annually.

Click below to see the table with details of the vessels and their destinations :

Table with vessels and destinations Summer 2012 (66 KB)

    

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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

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Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
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Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

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On 17 February 2013, in a mockery of justice, a Moroccan military court condemned 25 Saharawi citizens to shockingly tough prison sentences. Help us to release the Gdeim Izik 25.

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