Paradeep Phosphates Ltd Bayan Bhavan, Unit 3 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Marg Bhubaneswar Odisha 751001 India
Brussels 21 February 2018
To the attention of Mr Sunil Vikram Sethy Managing Director of Paradeep Phosphates Ltd.
Re. Paradeep Phosphates Ltd’s 2017 imports of phosphate rock from Western Sahara
Dear Mr. Sethy,
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) is honoured to present you our compliments. We are seeking clarifications regarding Paradeep Phosphates Ltd’s (PPL) 2017 imports of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.
In the coming weeks, WSRW will publish its annual “P for Plunder” report, documenting the phosphate trade from Western Sahara during the previous calendar year. Paradeep will be featured in that report. Accordingly, we would be grateful for your answers to the questions included below, so that we may accurately present your views on the matter. In 2017, we’ve tracked six shipments from Western Sahara to Paradip, transporting an estimated 330,000 tonnes of phosphate rock with a value of around US $ 29.6 million. As such, the company was one of the main importers of the conflict mineral in 2017.
While that is concerning, it is perhaps not all that surprising, given that PPL is partly held by the OCP Group of Morocco, which administers and exploits the Bou Craa mines in Western Sahara.
The corporate relation between PPL and OCP notwithstanding, Paradeep has engaged in a trade that is deeply controversial. It is our firm conviction that it cannot be in the company’s interest to be associated with such business. We’ve elaborated on the legal, political and ethical concerns relating to importing from Western Sahara is on our previous letters to you (9 February 2015 and on 7 March 2016). Those letters included questions regarding your company’s role in the trade. We cannot see having received a response. Please allow us to rephrase the main question of those letters, to which we would appreciate an answer: 1. What has your company done to ascertain that the imports of phosphate rock from Western Sahara are done with the express consent of the people of the territory? 2. Can you confirm that your company has received an estimated volume of 330,000 tonnes of phosphate rock from Western Sahara during the year 2017?
WSRW urges PPL to immediately and unconditionally halt its purchases of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara. Should you require any further information to fully engage the matter, do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to your reply.
Sara Eyckmans Coordinator Western Sahara Resource Watch firstname.lastname@example.org
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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