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Archive for the tag “ICL”

A look into how the American and British Companies defied the embargo and UN sanctions against the South African Apartheid Government in the 1970s and 1980s

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This here will be about how American and British interest we’re in the draconian Apartheid regime in South Africa in 1970s and 1980s. I been looking into how businesses at the time went through hoops and not caring about the United Nations Sanctions and resolution 418 of 4th November 1977 states this:

Determines, having regard to the policies and acts of the South African Government, that the acquisition by South Africa of arms and related material constitutes, a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security; Decides that all States shall cease forthwith  any provisions to South Africa of arms and related materiel of all types, including the sale of transfer of weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, para military police equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and shall cease as well the provision of all types of equipment and supplies and grants of licensing arrangements for the manufacture of the aforementioned” (UN, 1977).

So with that in mind, we can see how businesses of United States and Britain started and worked as subsidiaries in South Africa during the Apartheid, where the instances of FORD Motors and Leyland Vehicles we’re produced and used by the Police under the worst atrocities of a regime who used their laws, security agencies to harass the majority; while keeping the minority rulers and their economic incentive intact by any means. So that big business and other ones defied the Sanctions and even collaborated with necessary arms, cars and other procurement for the totalitarian state; shows how far the Corporation goes for profit and serve even governments who has no quarrel with prosecuting innocent citizens. Therefore the history of these corporations and their dealings should come to light and be questioned. As business today does the same under regimes that are totalitarian and militaristic with the favor of elite and harassing the opposition. That is why we can see at the tactics of the 1970s and 1980s and see how they might be used today.

So with that introduction take a look at my findings and hope you find it interesting.

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How to start the discussion:

“Johannesburg Star (South African daily), Nov. 26, 1977, at 15. See also 1978 Hearings, supra note 13, at 846 (statement of John Gaetsewe, General Secretary of the banned South African Congress of Trade Unions) (“The ending of foreign investment in South Africa … is a means of undermining the power of the apartheid regime. Foreign investment is a pillar of the whole system which maintains the virtual slavery of the Black workers in South Africa.”); Christian Sci. Monitor, Feb. 21, 1984, at 25 (statement by Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela)” (Hopkins, 1985).

Some money earned by the SADF at the time:

“According to official SADF accounts, the money that would have been recouped from the sale of ivory would flow back into funding the Unita rebels. However, Breytenbach knew that in the year 1986/1987 alone, the SADF’s assistance to Unita through military intelligence totalled R400 million (ZAR2005=R2,5 billion) and this excluded the supply of almost all Unita’s hardware and fuel. It is therefore unlikely that this was the reason behind the SADF’s interest in ivory smuggling. It is more likely that the potential for self-enrichment that this presented to SADF officers was enormous. General Chris Thirion, Former Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence, agrees and suspects that Savimbi was in fact over-funded at the time” (Van Vuren, 2006).

Africa 1963-64

How much RSA used on Military Equipment during Apartheid in the 1980s:

“According to evidence presented to the UN Security Council arms embargo committee in 1984, out of its annual total arms procurement budget of some R1.62 billion over R900 million was to be spent on arms purchases from overseas” (…)”This R900 million is spent on the procurement of arms directly by the regime from overseas and via the private sector. No official figures are published about how much is actually spent on direct imports of armaments. However, it can be estimated from figures contained in an in-depth survey by the Johannesburg Sunday Times in July 1982 that imports from overseas were 15 per cent of defence spending which then stood at R3,320 million per annum” (AAM, 1985).

How that happen:

“Those breaches of the arms embargo which have been exposed have also revealed the myth of South Africa’s self-sufficiency. Equipment smuggled into South Africa include weapons such as machine guns, rifles and pistols as well as spares and components for them. In a trial at the Old Bailey, London, in October 1982, the Court was informed that South African efforts to produce components for pre-war machine guns had not been successful. This points to the serious deficiencies in the quality and reliability of even minor items manufactured in South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Export of R.J. Electronics International:

“Britain’s refusal to strictly implement the UN arms embargo and its continuing military collaboration in various fields are not totally surprising since much of this arises out of its traditional relationship with South Africa” (…)”They failed to re-appear in Court on 22 October 1984 and the following weekend gave a press conference. At it, Colonel Botha disclosed that they had operated as undercover agents for five years and “had saved the country at least R5 million on purchases of vital equipment”. Metelerkamp claimed he was only a consultant to Kentron and was the Managing Director of R J Electronics International. However, it emerged that he had been employed by Kentron up to a month prior to his arrest, and R J Electronics International was “a company used to purchase illicit arms” (AAM, 1985).

Other Examples:

“One cargo of FN rifles was initially exported by air to Red Baron Ltd at an address in Zurich before being forwarded to South Africa. This company, however, was not Swiss, but registered in England. Its directors were Mr Trinkler and two others who had also been directors of Kuehne and Nagel in Britain” (…)”The most controversial case was that of the British Aerospace naval reconaissance aircraft, the Coastguarder. In Hay 1984 it was disclosed that British Aerospace had been approached by the South African Government and that initial discussions had taken place concerning the purchase of eight aircraft. These were to replace the Shackleton aircraft which were having to be phased out. The South African authorities had sought to evade the arms embargo by forming a Coastguard service as a civilian authority through which the order for the aircraft would be placed. Repeated efforts to secure from the Government an undertaking that the Coastguarder would not be granted licence for export to South Africa met with the response that “it would not be proper for me to offer a definitive view now on the hypothetical question on the issue of a licence for the export of an aircraft such as the Coastguarder to South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Shell Corporation working with the Regime:

The South Africans agreed and supplied a cash advance that allowed the traders to purchase a tanker, shipping company and the required insurance. The tanker docked in Kuwait and filled its tanks with oil owned by Shell. The oil was registered for delivery in France. However, en route to Europe from the Gulf the tanker stopped in Durban and off-loaded almost all of its oil crude oil—almost 180,000 tonnes—with the South Africans paying the difference between the purchase price and the fees it had advanced for the purchase of the tanker. The Salem was then filled up with water in order to create the impression that it was still laden with oil. Off the coast of West Africa (Senegal), at one of the deepest points of the Atlantic, the ship was scuttled and the crew, who were prepared for the evacuation, were conveniently ‘rescued’. They had hoped to make an extra $24 million off the insurance claim for the lost oil. Following investigations by the insurance company the main perpetrators were prosecuted. The biggest loser next to Shell was South Africa, asit agreed to pay the Dutch multinational US$30 million (ZAR2005=R436 million) in an out-of-court settlement. Shell was left to carry a remaining loss of US$20 million. The use of corrupt middlemen had cost South Africa almost half a billion rand. There was no prosecution in South Africa of the officials at the SFF who had authorised South Africa’s procurement of a full tanker of oil from three novice (criminal) entrepreneurs” (Van Vuren, 2006).

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British Subsidiaries in South Africa:

“Many of these subsidiaries are British. They include Leyland (Landrovers and Trucks); ICI (through its 40 per cent holding in AECI) (Ammunition and Explosives); Trafalgar House (through Cementation Engineering) (artillery shells); ICL (Computers); GEC including Marconis (Military Communications Equipment); Lontho (aircraft franchises); Plessey (Military Communications Equipment); BP and Shell (oil and other petroleum products for the military and police)” (…)”An impression of the full extent of the role of British subsidiaries in South Africa in undermining the arms embargo can be obtained from studying Appendix C. This is a list of British companies with subsidiaries in South Africa which are also known to be engaged in the manufacture of military and related equipment” (AAM, 1985).

British Mercenaries:

“British mercenaries, some recruited. originally for the forces of the illegal Smith regime, are serving in a number of South African Defence Force units, including the infamous “32 Battallion” operating out of Namibia into Angola. A British mercenary was killed in the South African commando raid on the residence of South African refugees in Maputo, Mozambique, in January 1981” (AAM, 1985).

“British Government policy so far has been to grant permission for Officers to serve in the South African Defence Forces.” (…)”This was explained by Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine, in a letter to the Rt Hon Denis Healey:

“An Officer is required to resign his commission before joining the forces of a country that does not owe allegiance to the Crown, and if he did not do so then the commission would be removed. As you will appreciate, this is the only power that we can exercise over an officer who has already retired from the Services. Guidance is given to officers about these procedures before they retire, but no specific recommendations are made about which countries’ Armed Forces an officer should join; nor do I believe that it would be right to do so.” (AAM, 1985).

GM ZA Apartheid

American Businesses under Apartheid:

Approximately 350 of the most prominent companies in the United States, including more than half of the Fortune 500’s top one hundred firms, operate subsidiaries in South Africa [18]. Another 6000 do business there through sales agents and distributers [19]. The United States holds fifty-seven percent of all foreign holdings on the Johannesburg stock exchange, including gold mines, mining houses, platinum mines, and diamonds [20]. The State Department estimated that U.S. direct investment amounted to $2.3 billion in 1983, down from the $2.8 billion calculated by the South African Institute of Race Relations for 1982 [21]. Other estimates put overall American investment, including loans and gold stocks, at $14 billion [22]” (…)”rcent [25]. U.S. exports to South Africa, however, grew from approximately R1.2 billion in 1979 to R2.7 billion in 1981 [26]. As a result, the United States emerged as the Republic’s largest trading partner [27]. Apart from its quantitative impact, U.S. business investment has a qualitative impact disproportionate to its financial value” (…)”John Purcell of Goodyear concurred, asserting that economic pressures will not encourage nonviolent social change in South Africa; rather, this will be brought about by “economic growth, expanded contact with the outside, and time” ((Hopkins, 1985)

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Ford sold cars to the Apartheid regime:

“Ford Directed and Controlled its South African Policies from the United States, Exported Equipment from the United States, and Acted to Circumvent the United States Sanctions Regime: (New York Southern Cout Case, P: 65, 2014)

“Thus, despite the tightening of U.S. trade sanctions in February 1978, Ford U.S. still announced a “large infusion[] of capital into its South African subsidiary. Ford injected $8 million for upkeep and retooling” (New York Southern Court Case, P: 67, 2014).

“Ford support was significant: “[B]etween 1973 and 1977 [Ford] sold 128 cars and 683 trucks directly to the South African Ministry of Defense and 646 cars and 1,473 trucks to the South African police. Ford sold at least 1,582 F series U.S.-origin trucks to the police” (…)”Despite the prohibitions, Ford continued to supply vehicles to the South African security forces with the purpose of facilitating apartheid crimes. Ford denied that its continued sales to the South African security forces ran counter to the U.S. prohibitions, on the basis that the vehicles did not contain parts or technical data of U.S. origin” (…)”Notably, into the 1980s, Ford sold vehicles that did not need to be “converted” by the apartheid government for military or police use but were already specialized before leaving the plant in South Africa” (…)”Ford built a limited number of XR6 model Cortinas known as “interceptors” that were sold almost exclusively to the police. The XR6 was special because it had three Weber model double carburetors, as opposed to all other Cortinas that had only one double carburetor” (…)”Ford knew that the normal market for these vehicles was the security forces. The vehicles were deliberately pre-equipped with armor and military fixtures and designed for easy modification by the security forces to add additional defensive and offensive features” (…)”By making profits which they knew could only come from their encouragement of the security forces’ illicit operations through the sale of vehicles, parts, designs, and services, Ford acquired a stake in the criminal enterprise that was the apartheid regime” (New York Southern Case, P: 71-77, 2014).

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Leyland under Apartheid:

“The British government now virtually owns British Leyland and therefore controls the company’s operations in South Africa. Yet it has done little in practice to press for the rights of black workers to organize through trade unions, or for the recognition of the unions for collective bargaining purposes” (…)”The South African “branch” is Leyland’s biggest operation in the world outside of the U.K. At present it is the 8th largest car manufacturer (holding approximately 5% of the market) and the 7th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer (holding approximately 5,5% of the market) in South Africa. Despite the depressed condition of the South African Market it sold 1959 vehicles in January-February of 1977 alone” (…)”B.L.S.A. has massive contracts with the South African state. It is one of the chief suppliers of the South African Defense Force, providing not only trucks and landrovers (which form the backbone of anti-guerrilla operations) but also armored personnel carriers. Of course, the figures for these contracts are never made public” (…)”For example, in June 1976 it was announced that B.L.S.A. had won a £1.9millon order for 250 trucks from the Cape Provincial Authority” (…)”As Leyland itself have argued , It “must conform, it not entirely” to South African government and established wishes” (Coventry Anti-Apartheid, 1977).

This here is not easy to finish up as the implications of this deals and arrangement used to support a government that oppressed and detained the majority. This Apartheid government did it all openly and with a clear message that the white minority should rule, while the rest should serve them.

In that context these businesses earned good amount of cash and profits for their stakeholders and their shareholders. While their products and procured services by the state we’re used to oppress majority of people in South Africa. We can surely see the amount of money and how this have affected the society and given way for the government of the time to continue with the process of detaining and harassing the majority of South Africans. This could not have happen if there wasn’t a helping hand from businesses and their subsidiaries. This here is just a brief look into it.

Certainly this should be studied even more and become clear evidence of how heartbreaking it is to know how certain businesses and people owning them will profit on suffering of fellow human beings. That is why I myself shed a light on it, to show the extent of disobedience of the UN Resolution and also what these corporations does in regimes that harassing and oppressing fellow citizens for their background, creed, tribe etc. It’s just ghastly and makes my tummy vomit. But that is just me, hope you got some indication of how they did their business and served the Apartheid government. Peace.

Reference:

Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘How Britian Arms Apartheid – A memorandum for presentation to her Majesty’s Government’ (1985)

Coventry Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘Leyland in Britain and in South Africa’ (1977)

Hopkins, Sheila M. – ‘AN ANALYSIS OF U.S.-SOUTH AFRICAN RELATIONS IN THE 1980s: HAS ENGAGEMENT BEEN CONSTRUCTIVE?’ (1985) – Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law 7 (1985) 89-115, North Holland

United States, New York Southern Court: Case 1:02-md-01499-SAS Document 280-1 Filed 08/08/14

Van Vuren, Hennie – ‘Apartheid grand corruption – Assessing the scale of crimes of profit from 1976 to 1994’ (2006)

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Danakil Depression in Ethiopia – A little dig into the mining operations there

Danakil1

In this day and age there can still come some surprises like out of the wind a leaf will fall to the ground. It makes a sound and a whistle. You can never be up to speed about everything. I know about the Ethiopian dam projects, but certain industrial projects have gone in the wind. But then out of nothing the ICL buying out Allana Potash in the Danakil Depression caught my eye. Therefore I started doing research and seeing if I could get some information on the matter. A lot of information isn’t above the sea level yet, it’s still loose ends though. The licenses and the agreements between any company and the sovereign nation of Ethiopia are not at bay. But all the other information is saying certain stories. And tell how big of an issue this can get. Especially when you see how many companies is a-part of this shindig. Hope you get some information that you didn’t before and learn about the Danakil Depression in the Afar Region in Ethiopia.

Introduction to the area:

“The potash potential of Ethiopia was dormant until World War II where Italian and other foreign companies initiated exploration activities in different parts of the extremely hot Danakil Depression of northern Ethiopia, where temperatures regularly exceed +50°C. The companies exploited a number of mineral resources, such as potash and sulphur. The Danakil depression is found down to 110 m below sea level. The evaporites of the central parts of the Danakil Depression cover an area of 1165 km2, the major part of which is known as the Salt Plain” (…) “The Afar region of north-east Ethiopia is covered by Quaternary lacustrine sediments and volcanic rocks of the East African Rift Valley. The central part of the Danakil Depression is covered by a thick evaporite succession (Salt Formation), which is partially covered by Quaternary volcanic rocks” (Geus, 2010).

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“ETHIOPIAN POTASH CORP. (ETHIOPIAN POTASH) has signed an Option Agreement to buy over G&B Central African Resources, which holds the title for the G&B Mineral Property in the Danakil Depression, Afar State, Ethiopia” (…) “Pursuant to the Option Agreement, upon the Option Closing, the Founders will also receive, on a pro rata basis, an aggregate of 20,000,000 Resulting Issuer Common Shares at a deemed price of $0.20 per Resulting Issuer Common Share, as incentive payments for their roles in reorganizing, financing and developing the business of G&B and in negotiating the Option Agreement” (…) “The value of the Danakil Potash Permits, the option and the payments under the Option Agreement were determined and negotiated through arm‟s length negotiations. The Danakil Technical Report was filed with the Exchange on December 3, 2010” (…) “ETHIOPIAN POTASH commissioned the production of a Technical Report in compliance with NI 43-101 to both summarise past exploration and to provide guidance for further project development. As a first step this Preliminary Resource Assessment Study (PRAS) from the independent consultant ERCOSPLAN, a German consultancy firm with more than half a century of experiences in industrial potash mining and processing was prepared” (…) “According to official information, exploration and mining licences were granted to Sainik Coal Mining Private Limited from the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2007. Referring to this source, the deposit is estimated to contain resources of 160 million tonnes (without further specification)” (…) “ALLANA POTASH CORP. reports in 2008 for the part of the Musley deposit within their property an inferred resource amounting to 31.3 million tonnes of sylvinite at 25.4% KCl and 73.9 million tonnes of kainitite at 18.8% KCl, not taking into account mining and processing losses” (…) “The Musley Deposit, in the extension as defined by PARSONS, contains 171.27 million tonnes of mineralised material (55.63 million tonnes KCl) and partly extends onto the G&B Danakil Property. Six of the historical drill holes are located within the south western part of this property” (…) “The modelling of the 6 drill holes within the G&B Danakil Property and nearby drill holes south of the property resulted in inferred geological sylvinite resources of 28 million tonnes at an average grade of 29% KCl from the so-called Sylvinite Member, with additional inferred geological sylvinite/carnallitite resources of 5 million tonnes at an average grade of 22% KCl from the sampled part of the intermediate Member and inferred geological kainitite resources of 95 million tonnes at an average grade of 18% KCl. In these numbers, no deduction for mining and plant losses are considered. Resource estimations refer to the G&B Danakil Property only” (…) “The Danakil Depression stretches some 200km between Lake Bada (lake level 50m below sea level) in the NNW and Lake Acori (lake level 94m below sea level) in the SSE. The deepest point is located at Lake Assale where the lake level is 128m below sea level. This desert area is characterised by a flat surface that is interrupted by only few hills known as Mount Dallol, Black Mountain and Ashe Ale” (…) “Danakil Potash Exploration: Licence 3137-3150/2000 – 265.05km²” (…) “The mining policy of Ethiopia has received partial updating via the Mining and Income Tax Proclamations in 1993 and the supporting Mineral Operations Regulations in 1994 . These laws were established to stimulate the development of mining and to guarantee the property rights of both local and foreign investors. The preamble to the new mining law states that the law recognizes the significant role of private investment in capital formation, technology acquisition and marketing of minerals. The laws foresee different kinds of permits. The permit holders have both rights and obligations”  (…) “The Danakil Depression is known as the hottest place on Earth, and is consistently hot throughout the year. Dallol‟s record high of the annual average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth of 34°C was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966” (…) “Because of the harsh conditions, the area of the G&B Property is very sparsely populated, and is mostly only temporarily inhabited by the Afari nomads. In the north western part of the G&B Danakil Property the small (temporary?) settlements of Ghebro (local salt extraction), and Iremle are located. In the northernmost part of the G&B Bada Property several small settlements are situated adjacent to the agriculturally used area on the alluvial fan of the Ragali River delta” (…) “road access is limited, but since 2010 it is in relatively good condition. No railway facility is available. No supply of electrical energy, fresh water and internet access is present. Connection to global system for mobile phone communication (GSM) is not available; the only option for communication at the site is via satellite telephone or radio. Mechanical and technical services as well as fuel cannot be obtained on site. Reasonable infrastructure for this is either present at Mekele or Afdera” (Raushe, 2011).

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Information on AgriMinco:

“Following the completion of the maiden National Instrument 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate, the operator of Danakil Holdings Ltd., Plinian Capital LLP, requested a preliminary investigation into the economic viable mining and processing options for the Danakil potash resources” (…) “AgriMinco’s chief executive officer, Bruce Cumming, comments: “Whilst the results are encouraging, they must be seen against the backdrop of uncertainty that the company continues to face due to the difficulties experienced in attempting to raise additional finance and the existing debt burden the company carries. We continue to focus our efforts on completion either of a capital raise or a corporate transaction. Under the terms of the JV agreement and the amendment thereto, AgriMinco was required to contribute 30 per cent of expenditure in excess of the agreed free carry by April 7, 2014” (…) “The operator of the joint venture, Plinian Capital, and Circum Minerals Ltd., the 70-per-cent joint venture partner, have consented to the release of the information contained herein” (Cumming, 2014).

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140122_BHPBillitonLogo

BHP Billiton pulls away:

In 2012 pulled BHP Billiton out of the Danakil Depression. The spokesman for the company commented on it like this: “They already informed the ministry they want to leave” (…) “We have made a decision to discontinue exploration activities in Ethiopia” (…) “This was because following completion of sufficient work it’s not expected to meet BHP’s investment criteria”. The company didn’t deliver any more information to why they pulled away from the project at the time (Davison, 2012).

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License giving to Allana:

“The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines has issued a mining license for the country’s Danakhil Potash Project to Allana Potash – a Canadian mineral exploration company. The license was issued after its approval by the Ethiopian council of ministers.  A detailed review of the projects feasibility study and the Environmental, Social and Health Impacts Assessment (ESHIA) by the Ministry of Mines and other government departments had been carried out” (Wanene, 2013). “Approval of the ESHIA is conditional on the fulfillment of several action plans, most of which are identified in the ESHIA and already in place. These include monitoring ground water in the region (ongoing), resettlement of two small villages (in progress) and a commitment to community development (part of Allana’s Community Development Plan). Approval of the Company’s ESHIA is necessary for the granting of a Mining License in Ethiopia. The Ministry continues to review Allana’s application for the Mining License and meetings last week in Ethiopia indicate significant progress has been made in the evaluation of the Company’s Feasibility Study. While this work is ongoing, Allana is optimistic that the granting of the Mining License will occur in the next few months” (Mbendi, 2013).

Beginning information on Allana:

Allana had already before 2010 was finished had 60 drilling holes in the Danakil Depression. “Allana tacked on 28 drill holes from its wholly-owned Nova project, which occupies roughly 132-sq.km adjacent to its Dallol concessions and was picked up in a merger with Nova-Ethio Potash in November 2012”. The president and CEO Farhad Abasov is excited and was quoted saying: “We are excited to see the large increase in total mineral resources on the project and the significant conversion of inferred mineral resources into measured and indicated mineral resource categories” (…) “Potash resources continue to expand with our exploration activities which are ongoing on the Nova license. We are encouraged that significant additional mineralization of [carnallite and kainitite] has been delineated and will initiate further study on these resource estimates” (Northern Miner, 2013).

Basic information on Allana:

“Allana’s potash project is comprised of four potash concessions (Danakil Potash Project) located in Ethiopia’s northeastern Danakil Depression totaling approximately 312 square kilometers” (Allana).

“Major Advantages:

Allana has completed a NI 43-101 compliant technical report for the three concessions. The technical report highlighted several unique advantages of this project:

  • An inferred mineral resource of 105,200,000 tonnes of potash mineralization (Sylvinite and Kainitite) with a composite grade of 20.8% KCI
  • Near-surface (shallow-depth) potash mineralization (within 50 metres of surface)
  • Potential for solution or open-pit potash mining
  • 16 drill holes immediately on Allana’s property
  • 2 hole intersect 45 metres of potash mineralization at a depth of 680 metres – demonstrate significant potential to expand potash resource
  • Unique environment that may provide for low-cost production utilizing solar evaporation and geothermal power
  • MOP (muriate of potash) and SOP (sulphate of potash) production is feasible (NaFinance, 2009)”

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Allana raised funds for construction:

“Abasov and company have raised over $90 million in equity markets and has sufficient cash reserves to reach the construction stage. And the news keeps getting better. Just last month, Allana’s debt financing process reached a new milestone as the company further de-risks the project” (InvestorIntel, 2013). “At this stage, little is known about the role of Ethiopian banks in the transaction for the loans between Afreximbank and Allana Potash” (Keffyalew, 2013). Allana Potash, a Vancouver-based mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is set to acquire financing for its mammoth potash mining project in Danakil Depression in the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia in the order of 11.1 billion birr from the little-known-in-Ethiopia Africa Export/Import Bank-Afreximbank (Seyoum, 2013). “In Ethiopia, we are at the moment looking at potash project. It is about $600 million and we are still at the preliminary stage, but we are positive about that,” said Denys Denya, AfrEximBank’s Executive Vice-President for Finance, Administration and Banking Services” (Andualem, 2013).

Getting power-supply to the Danakil depression:

“The study is initiated by the request of Ethiopotash SC for 70MW of power. Ethiopotash, a company established by Dutch investors, is now managed by Yara International, which, in May 2012, upped its share in the company from 16pc to 51pc. Yara International, the Norwegian fertiliser manufacturer, itself is established with a majority share by the Norwegian government” (…) “The area will get power supply from Mekele, Tigray.

“We have studied all options, but Mekelle is better,” Mekuria said. “Since the area is not included under the EPPCo electricity expansion projects, the company will cover the project cost,” he added. However, both Mekuria and WondimuTakele (Eng), state minister for MoWE, say that it is not yet known how much it could cost supplying electricity to the Danakil Depression. The company wants the power supply to be ready for 2014, according to the company’s request” (…) “The project cost of the Danakil Depression concession could reach two billion Birr, according to Hoslestad” (Mesfin, 2012).

The Yara study itself confirms the mining potential in Ethiopia:

“The independent study identified an annual production of 600,000 metric tons sulfate of potash (SOP) over 23 years from reserves (Kainite, Carnallite and Sylvinite) at Yara’s Danakil concession. The company, which aims to begin mining activities in 3Q, 2018, is now seeking equity partners to develop the project” (Yara, 2015).

The potash from Danakil depression goes further:

“The product will be trucked 790 kilometres to Tadjoura, Djibouti, where the project includes a product storage and handling terminal at the new port currently under construction by the Djibouti Port Authority” (Topf, 2015).

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Allana Potash getting bought by ICL:

On 22nd June 2015 bought the whole company of 100%, even if it had already bought 16.22% in 2014. So ICL bought the rest now in June 2015. With this trade the ICL get rights to develop the Potash project in Danakil depression. ICL has faith in the Ethiopian government and plans for infrastructure to succeed with the development of the potash mines at the sight in the Afar region of Ethiopia.  ICL President & CEO Stefan Borgas, said, “We are delighted to complete our acquisition of Allana Potash and appreciate the strong support of Allana’s Board, management team and shareholders in conducting the process expeditiously. Our purchase of Allana is in line with ICL’s “Next Step Forward” strategy to broaden our sources of raw materials globally and to focus on high growth, emerging markets. Allana gives us a major mining concession in Africa, as well as a talented on-the-ground team with whom we intend to pursue our development of potash resources in Ethiopia. We are excited about the potential of establishing a strong potash platform in the Afar region that will enable us to serve rapidly growing fertilizer markets throughout Ethiopia and Africa, at large, as well as our growing customer base in Asian markets, and which will complement our existing potash operations in Israel, Spain and the UK. We are encouraged by the initial support of our activities by the Ethiopian government, which we trust will be translated into the assistance that we require to fully develop Ethiopia’s natural resources for the benefit of Ethiopia, its farmers and its people, as well as for ICL” (ICL, 2015).

Afterthought:

I won’t write much here now. Because this piece is already at a major size, but I look forward to follow the Danakil Depression and see how this industrial and mining adventure will go. How the companies will earn their cash and how the reports from the area will be. Especially how the Ethiopian government will deliver information on the matter, which will be amazing. Because they keep so much information at bay and never really release anything. Hope you got some knowledge and understand better how this is in Afar Region in Ethiopia. Peace.

Reference:

Topf, Andrew – ‘Study confirms potash potential at Danakil Depression, Ethiopia’ (17.02.2015) Link: http://www.mining.com/study-confirms-potash-potential-at-danakil-depression-ethiopia-96831/

AllanaPotash:

http://www.allanapotash.com/projects/ethiopia/

Yara – ‘Yara study confirms potash mining potential in Ethiopia’ (13.02.2015) Link:

http://yara.com/media/press_releases/1894170/press_release/201502/yara-study-confirms-potash-mining-potential-in-ethiopia/

Ministry of Mines of Ethiopia (Geus) – ‘Potash in Ethiopia’ (December 2010) Link:

http://extra.geus.info/cet/ethiopia/EthiopiaFS_Potash_Web.pdf

Davison, William – ‘BHP Billiton Abandoning Potash Project in Ethiopia’s Danakil’ (09.07.2012) Link:

http://ecadforum.com/articles/bhp-billiton-abandoning-potash-project-in-ethiopias-danakil/

Northern Miner – ‘Allana adds major potash tonnage at Danakil’ (26.06.2013) Link:

http://www.northernminer.com/news/allana-adds-major-potash-tonnage-at-danakil/1002435807/?&er=NA

Rauche, Dr. Henry – ‘PRELIMINARY RESOURCE ASSESSMENT STUDY – Danakil Potash Deposit, Afar State/Ethiopia (01.02.2011) Link: http://agriminco.com/home/ul/Technical%20Report%20(NI%2043-101)%20Danakil%202%20Feb%202011.pdf

NaFinance – ‘Allana Resources Inc’ (2009) Link:

http://www.nafinance.com/Listed_Co/english/allana_e.htm

Mesfin, Mahlet – ‘Ethiopotash Seeking 70MW Dedicated Power Supply to Danakil Plant’ (07.10.2012) Link:

http://www.addisfortune.com/Vol_13_No_649_Archive/Ethiopotash%20Seeking%2070MW%20Dedicated%20Power%20Supply%20to%20Danakil%20Plant.htm

InvestorIntel – ‘Significantly de-risked, potash powerhouse Allana Potash is on the fast track to production’ (25.09.2013) Link:

http://investorintel.com/agbusiness-mmj-intel/significantly-de-risked-potash-powerhouse-allana-potash-fast-track-production/

Gebremedhin, Keffyalew – ‘Axis between Ethiopia-Allana Potash-African Export Import Bank: What cost to Ethiopia?’ – Seyoum, Arat – (23.06.2013) Link:

http://ethiopiaobservatory.com/2013/06/23/axis-between-ethiopia-allana-potash-african-export-import-bank-what-cost-to-ethiopia/

Wanene, Grace – ‘Ethiopia issues potash mining license to Canada’s Allana Potash’ (10.10.2013) Link: http://www.zegabi.com/articles/4772

Mbendi – ‘Allana Potash Announces Approval of ESHIA by Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Danakil Potash Project’ (22.05.2013) Link:

http://www.mbendi.com/a_sndmsg/news_view.asp?I=134101

Andualem, Sisay – ‘AfrEximBank eyeing $600m Ethiopia potash deal’ (20.06.2013) Link:

http://www.africareview.com/Business—Finance/AfrEximBank-eyeing-Ethiopia-potash-deal/-/979184/1889238/-/6hnpnj/-/index.html

Cumming, Bruce – ‘AgriMinco’s Danakil report to look into mining options’ (18.03.2014) Link:

http://www.stockwatch.com/News/Item.aspx?bid=Z-C:ANO-2156224&symbol=ANO&region=C

ICL – ‘ICL COMPLETES ITS ACQUISITION OF ALLANA POTASH’ (22.06.2015)

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