Last update:

Taïba Phosphates Mine in the fertile gardening area of Niayes, Senegal

Almost eighty years of phosphates' extraction in the rural community of Darou Khoudoss by ICS, pollutes de air, reduces water ressources and entails continuous land-grabbing and displacements.


En Français ci-dessous ----------- The Niayes (in the admnistrative region of Thiès), a narrow strip of 25km wide and 180km long lying between Dakar and Saint Louis along the Atlantic coast, was traditionally dedicated to vegetables and fruits gardening until the arrival of mining projects. Today Thiès is considered the largest mining area of the country, the activity is concentrated in the Niayes. The phosphates of the Taïba’s deposit have been exploited since the second half of the 20th century. The exploitation began on the careers of Ndomor Diop and since October 2003 it is done from the careers of Tobène. It is the company Compagnie Chimiques du Senegal (ICS) which exploits these quarries of phosphates since 1996. There are a dozen villages which are directly concerned by the exploitation of Tobène, approximately 2,500 people. The vegetables’ gardening was facilitated by the low depth of groundwater resources. Between Noto and Diogo the groundwater used to be at a depth of 4.50 meters. Today, the vegetables’ gardening is strongly compromised by the generalized lack of water resources in the region. The exploitation of phosphates has expropriated many villagers, consumes precious hydraulic resources while additionally repeated acid leakages and heavy dust containing phosphates pollute the environment. Gad is a village of about 200 people, landlocked in the middle of ICS’ concession that the company has been refusing to compensate and displace for more than a decade. The inhabitants of Gad can no longer cultivate their fields, annexed by the mine or polluted by dust and repeated acid leaks. In October 2014, a major sulfuric acid leak by ICS at its site in Taïba contaminated the villages of Gad and Ngomène. The residents suffered chest pains, persistent coughs, blurred vision, and headaches. Cases of diarrhea and vomiting in children less than five years old have been reported as well. Gad is connected with the nearest village (Ndomor) by a dirt road, borrowed by ICS´trucks night and day. The company's trucks run along the village. In 2012, a child walking to school was knocked down and killed instantly by one truck. While the company is electrically powered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, towns like Darou Khoudoss and Mboro have to deal with repeated power outages every day. Gad has not even been connected to the network and does not benefit from running water. ICS supplies the village with water but in insufficient quantities. A power station was inaugurated in Darou Khoudoss in December 2016, with the exclusive capital of Indorama (current majoritarian owner of ICS). Located at the heart of the area occupied by ICS, the power station’s priority is to supply the mine. Since its entry into activity, neighboring populations have been experiencing an overall increase in temperatures. People report that the waste is not treated before it is discharged into the ocean or into the landfill located in the concession, which pollutes the air and surrounding soils (information collected on the field by author). Phosphates’ quarries abandoned by ICS are often taken over by the populations that were previously displaced and dispossessed by the company. These abandoned spaces, called slimes, are rich in phosphates. People practice cereal cultivation, market gardening, and also plant fruit trees which enable families to survive. However this type of recovery remains limited due to lack of irrigation. In the face of a seemingly irreversible situation, local people demand that to ICS to employ the youth, but a small percentage of workers come from the affected villages, while retiring staff is replaced by daily or seasonal jobs. Since the beginning of the operation, at least 5,000 people have been displaced. Facing the appropriation of land around the Tobène quarries, the people organized themselves. Twenty affected villages gathered and created the Association for the Safeguarding of the Environment of Tobène (ASET) and managed to obtain better compensation than that defined by the law. Indeed, the compensations as defined by the law are very low because they remain the same as established in 1994. The populations which still remain around the quarries of Tobène fear to be expropriated as well and plant fruit trees (cashew, guavas, mango trees) on their fields because they are better compensated than cereal crops. The residents of Mboro demonstrated in May 2014 and denounced the lack of infrastructures. For a city of 40,000 inhabitants, only 7 out of 27 neighborhoods are supplied with drinking water and electricity, while in case of a health issue they must go to Tivaouane (23 kilometers away). National NGOs are present in the region. La Lumière has launched in 2017 a community vegetables’ gardening project with the women of Dakharlaye, a village that houses displaced and expropriated people by the mine. Enda Pronat works with local actors to prevent future land grabbing and especially to raise awareness and better organize the populations so that they can better defend their rights. 

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Taïba Phosphates Mine in the fertile gardening area of Niayes, Senegal
State or province:Thiès
Location of conflict:Mboro, Tivouane Department
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tailings from mines
Land acquisition conflicts
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Mineral processing
Thermal power plants
Chemical industries
Specific commodities:phosphates, acide phosphorique
Project Details and Actors
Project details

En Français ci-dessous --------- Phosphate quarries extend from the former groundnut basin of Senegal to the Niayes area, the market-gardening heart of the country on the Atlantic coast between Dakar and Saint Louis. The Senegalese Phosphate Company of Taiba (CSPT) has been mining the Taïba deposit since 1959. Phosphate quarries have expanded over the years. The Taïba deposit was first exploited from the village of Ndomor Diop. Then, between 1980 and 2003, the deposit was exploited from Keur Mor Fall and since 2003, it is from the village of Tobène that it is exploited. The Tobène deposit covers an area of 20,000 hectares. In 1996, CSPT merged with the Society of Chemical Industries of Senegal (ICS). Since then, only ICS is the owner of these phosphate quarries. In February 2008, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co. (Iffco) acquired 18.54% interest in ICS. The majority shareholder was then Senfer Africa Ltd, a shell company based in Cyprus, whose shares in the capital of ICS amounted to 66%. The government of Senegal and that of India held respectively 15% and 0.46% of the capital of ICS. In August 2014, Indorama acquired 78% of ICS's capital. Its shares have increased, and since 2016 Indorama holds 78% of the capital of ICS, as for the government of Senegal, still holds 15%, Iffco has maintained 6.78% of its shares and the Indian government 0.22%. The mining complex also includes two factories near the mines that produce respectively phosphoric acid and chemical fertilizers (the last is in Mbao, 18km from Dakar). At the time of its arrival, Indorama invested $ 37 million in these three industrial sites. In 2016 was built the Darou Khoudoss’ power plant. Indorama says it has invested 22 billion CFA francs ($ 39 million) and declares that the mine does not consume the 20 MW produced by the plantm the surplus being redistributed to the local grid (1). Yet Darou Khoudoss still suffers from daily power outages. Between 2014 and 2015, the annual production of phosphates rose from 750,000 tons to 1,060,000 tons, that of phosphoric acid from 198,000 tons to 263,000 tons and that of fertilizer from 830,000 tons to 107,000 tons. ------- En Français------- Les carrières de phosphates s’étendent sur l’ancien bassin arachidier du Sénégal et jusque dans la zone des Niayes, le coeur maraicher du pays sur la côte atlantique entre Dakar et Saint Louis. La Compagnie Sénégalaise des Phosphates de Taïba (CSPT) exploite le gisement de Taïba à partir de 1959. Les carrières de phosphates se sont étendues au cours des années. Le gisement de Taïba était tout d’abord exploité depuis le village de Ndomor Diop. Par la ensuite, entre 1980 et 2003, le gisement a été exploité depuis Keur Mor Fall. Depuis 2003, c’est depuis le village de Tobène qu’il est exploité. Le gisement de Tobène recouvre une superficie de 20.000 hectares. En 1996, CSPT fusionne avec la Société des Industries Chimiques du Sénégal (ICS). Depuis lors on ne retient que ICS comme propriétairie de ces carrières de phosphates. En février 2008, le groupe Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co. (Iffco) est entré dans le capital de ICS à hauteur de 18,54%. L’actionnaire majoritaire était alors Senfer Africa Ltd, une société écran, basée à Chypre, dont les parts dans le captial d’ICS s’élevaient à 66%. Le gouvernement du Sénégal et de l’Inde détennaient respectivement 15% et 0,46% du capital de ICS. En août 2014, Indorama est entré dans la capital d’ICS à hauteur de 78%. Ses parts ont augmenté, et depuis 2016 Indorama détient 78% du capital de ICS, quant au gouvernement du Sénégal, il détient toujours 15% du capital, Iffco à maintenu 6,78% de ses parts et le gouvernement indien 0,22%. Le complexe minier comprend également deux usines à proximité des mines qui produisent respectivement de l’acide phosphorique et des engrais chimiques (celle-ci est à Mbao, à 18km de Dakar). A son arrivée, Indorama a investi 37 millions de dollars sur ces trois sites industriels. En 2016 s’est ajouté à ce complexe, la centrale de Darou Khoudoss. Indorama dit avoir investi 22 millards de francs CFA (39 millions de dollars) et déclare ne pas consommer les 20 MW que la centrale produit et d’en repartir dans le réseau local (1). Pourtant Darou Khoudoss souffre toujours de pannes de courant quotidiennes. Entre 2014 et 2015, la production annuelle de phosphates est passée de 750.000 tonnes à 1.060.000 tonnes, celle d’acide phosphorique de 198.000 tonnes à 263.000 tonnes et celle d’engrais de 830.000 tonnes à 107.000 tonnes.

Level of Investment:76,000,000.00
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:80.000
Company names or state enterprises:Indorama Corporation from Indonesia - Owns 78% capital of ICS
Industries Chimiques du Sénégal from Senegal - Exploite le gisement de Taïba depuis 1960
Compagnie Sénégalaise des Phosphates de Taïba from Senegal - Exploiting Taïba mining site from 1957 to 1966
Senfer Africa Ltd from Cyprus - Détient 66% du capital de ICS en 2008, disparaît du capital en 2014
Indien Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IIFFCO) from India - Owns 18,54% of ICS capital in 2008, and only 7.8% since 2016
Relevant government actors:Senegalese government, Indian government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coalition "Publiez ce que Vous Payez", Réseau des personnes affectées par les opérations minières, La Lumière, Enda Pronat, Association pour la sauvegarde de l’environnement de Tobène (ASET)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Development of alternatives:Employ the local youth, grant the populations with better infrastructures and social services (new schools, subvention of medical aid and drugs’ access, build a hospital). Prevent future land-grabbing, guarantee the populations’ access to clean water resources. ----- Emplois pour la jeunesse locale, créer des infrastructures qui bénéficient aux populaitons et leur donner accès aux services sociaux (nouvelles écoles, subvention de la santé et des médicaments, construction d'un nouvel hôpital). Prévenir de futurs accaparements de terres et garantir aux populations l'accès à l'eau .
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Barely no claims from the population are heard by the public authorities nor the company. The populations report that the dialogue has become all the more difficult since the arrival of Indorama in ICS’s capital. No material or social benefit for the populations while their sources of livelihood have shrink. -------- Quasiment aucune demande de la population n'est entendue par l'entreprise ou les autorités locales. D'après les populations le dialogue est d'autant plus difficile depuis l'arrivée d'Indorama dans le capital de ICS. Il n'y a pas de bénéfices matériels ou sociaux pour les populations tandis que leurs sources de subsistence ne cèssent de diminuer.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Nouveau Code Minier Sénégalais et Décret d'application
[click to view]

Le train de la relance, Enquete+, 18/08/2016
[click to view]

Les populations de Mboro en colère contre les Ics: l’eau ou rien ! - 11 Janvier 2013
[click to view]

Chérif Faye, Ces bombes à retardement que la CNRF doit désamorcer, 02/07/2016
[click to view]

Mbaye Ba, Mboro marche pour des solutions à ses problèmes, 19/05/2014
[click to view]

ICS-Mboro: Une pompe-moteur écrase la tête d'un technicien électromécanique, 17/03/2017
[click to view]

Quand le phosphate de Taiba inflige une mort lente aux populations, Juin 20, 2016
[click to view]

Industries Chimiques du Senegal (I.C.S.), Indorama - ICS Official webpage
[click to view]

Sénégal : la production de phosphate des ICS atteint un million de tonnes, 11/02/2016
[click to view]

Indorama, Industries Chimiques du Sénégal
[click to view]

Sénégal – Mines : naissance d’un géant, au nord de Diogo, Jeune Afrique, 22/03/2012
[click to view]

Phosphates : les industries chimiques du Sénégal se rêvent un avenir meilleur, Jeune Afrique, 10/10/2106
[click to view]

L’indien Iffco reprend les ICS, Jeune Afrique, 25/02/2008
[click to view]

ndustries Chimiques du Sénégal : le problème majeur c’est leur acquisition nébuleuse par Indorama ( par Abdou Aziz Ndiaye),SeneNews, 06/11/2016
[click to view]

The Mining Site, Indorama, ICS
[click to view]

Recapitalisation des Ics : l'Etat et les Indiens signent le 11 juillet, 06/07/2007
[click to view]

(1) Macky Sall à l’inauguration de la nouvelle centrale électrique : « Faire des Ics un des champions du développement industriel inclusif et durable » , Le Soleil, 17/12/2016
[click to view]

Mboro, Carrefour des Niayes, 12/2016
[click to view]

ICS, la plaie indienne, 7/05/2014
[click to view]

Secteur minier : La Coalition « Publiez ce que vous payez » travaille pour que les populations bénéficient suffisamment des ressources minérales de la région, 17/08/2017
[click to view]

Mboro, Face à la pauvreté et la paupérisation galopante: les populations décrient l'absence de retombées de l'activité minière sur leur territoire, Le Quotiden, 24/08/2017
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.