Incitec caught in crossfire

GREGOR HEARD for Stock Journal

14 Jun, 2014

INCITEC Pivot (IPL) has come under fire from an independence group from the disputed territory of Western Sahara in Africa for continuing to buy phosphate from Morocco that originates from the north-west African state.

Kamal Fadel, a spokesman for the Polisario Front, a group dedicated to Western Saharan independence, claims IPL is in violation of international law by continuing to purchase phosphate from Morocco, which he claims extracts the phosphate from Western Sahara illegally.

Mr Fadel said his group was looking to raise recognition of the issue prior to a shipment of Western Saharan phosphate that was set to arrive in Geelong on Thursday, June 12, believed to be valued at $4 million.

He said other fertiliser businesses, such as Impact Fertiliser and CSBP-Wesfarmers in Australia had bowed to pressure from human rights lobby groups and stopped sourcing Western Saharan phosphate.

“Morocco is illegally mining this product and is illegally occupying our homeland,” Mr Fadal said.

He said his group had been lobbying IPL for close to 10 years on the matter but had not managed to get any traction.

Western Sahara is an important source of phosphate in the global market, with good reserves of high quality product.

IPL representatives could not be reached prior to deadline.