Another Canadian company starts importing from occupied Western Sahara
neptune_terminal_610_200.jpg

Agrium Inc, a Canadian agro-business, is expecting its first shipment of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara by the end of the month. The matter has attracted media attention in Canada,  stating that "it could be the first import of conflict minerals coming directly into Canada since the apartheid era in South Africa".
Published: 16.10 - 2013 16:16Printer version    
Photo: Neptune Bulk Terminals in Vancouver, where the first shipment of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara to Canada is to arrive on 24 October 2013.

On 24 October, the bulk carrier Ultra Bellambi is scheduled to arrive at Vancouver. On board of the freighter are 60.000 tonnes of phosphate rock from the Bou Craa mines in Western Sahara. The cargo is worth almost $10 million. That money however, will not end up with the Saharawi people of Western Sahara - the original and sole people of the territory - but with the Moroccan regime that has occupied large parts of their country since 1975.

The phosphate rock was purchased by Calgary based Agrium Inc, under the terms of an agreement it concluded earlier this year with Moroccan state owned company Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP). Agrium confirmed to Canadian newspaper The Tyee that it would import one million tonnes each year until 2020, and that part of the imports will be sourced in Western Sahara.

Western Sahara Resource Watch has contacted Agrium Inc in April this year, calling on the company to refrain from importing from the Bou Craa mines in Western Sahara through their contract with OCP.

Agrium responded that "on issues related to disputed territorial claims, Agrium looks to guidance from the Canadian and US governments before entering into any agreement which may be related to the territory. Agrium's agreement with OCP complies with the respective trade and customs laws of these jurisdictions."

WSRW has today sent another letter to the company, denouncing the imports and asking for disclosure of cited legal evaluations.

A UN Legal Opinion on exploitation of Western Sahara's natural resources is quite clear that such activity is illegal if not done in accordance with the wishes and the interests of the people of the territory - the Saharawi. The latter have unequivocally stated that they do not consent to Agrium's imports, through a letter by their political representation Frente Polisario to the company.

The Tyee quotes Peter Chapman, executive director of the shareholder advisory organization SHARE, "If it's not possible to purchase phosphate rock from Western Sahara in a manner that's consistent with international law, then that would be a concern to institutional investors, particularly those investors that believe that the rule of law is important to the long term health of capital markets."

The Swedish government pension funds announced late September that it had decided to exclude Canadian company PotashCorp for importing phosphate from Western Sahara. In 2010, the Norwegian Pension Fund also decided to divest from the company because they considered such imports "grossly unethical."

    

Top
News:

20.04 - 2014 / 20.04 - 2014Member of WSRW arrested by Moroccan police in occupied Western Sahara
20.04 - 2014 / 20.04 - 2014Clear message from Saharawis: Kosmos, leave Western Sahara!
15.04 - 2014 / 15.04 - 2014Letter from Elfayda to Kosmos Energy
10.04 - 2014 / 10.04 - 2014WSRW calls on Security Council to speak out on Kosmos oil hunt
29.03 - 2014 / 28.03 - 2014Saharawis marching against Kosmos Energy in occupied Sahara
20.03 - 2014 / 20.03 - 2014Saharawis continue to protest Kosmos' oil plans in Western Sahara
19.03 - 2014 / 19.03 - 2014Saharawi government awards new oil exploration block
19.03 - 2014 / 19.03 - 2014Kosmos: get out of Western Sahara!
17.03 - 2014 / 17.03 - 2014Supplier to controversy rig withdraws further service
14.03 - 2014 / 14.03 - 2014WSRW requests answers from Kosmos
14.03 - 2014 / 14.03 - 2014This week: Kosmos opening base in occupied territory
14.03 - 2014 / 14.03 - 20149 detained, threats of jail if demonstrating against EU fisheries
13.03 - 2014 / 13.03 - 2014People in Boujdour frustrated over Kosmos plans
11.03 - 2014 / 11.03 - 2014Transparently unethical: Western Saharan melons are not from Morocco
10.03 - 2014 / 09.03 - 2014Kosmos and Atwood: obstacles to peace in Western Sahara
06.03 - 2014 / 06.03 - 2014Canadian company Agrium claims to follow law, silent on howcome
05.03 - 2014 / 04.03 - 2014Green problems for French energy company Greensolver?
05.03 - 2014 / 04.03 - 2014EU Commission fails to address Western Saharan conflict minerals
21.02 - 2014 / 21.02 - 2014Kosmos announces drilling in October
21.02 - 2014 / 21.02 - 2014WSRW asks Cairn Energy to stay out of Western Sahara




EN ES FR DE AR

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.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

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.

WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy