Exploring Moroccan Sahara Responsibly

As a company specialising in mining exploration, we have made the strategic decision to invest in the Moroccan Sahara. This decision has elicited a range of reactions, given the region’s intricate history and complex political landscape, particularly its deep-rooted connection with the Sahrawi people. Despite the controversy surrounding this region, we have discovered that the actual situation on the ground often significantly deviates from the media portrayal. While the USA recognises the area as Moroccan, the UN does not share this view.

The Moroccan Sahara is an expansive, predominantly uninhabited territory, punctuated by a handful of towns. Our primary interest lies in the uninhabited regions, where we have the potential to explore and mine without causing disruption to local communities. In these areas, we collaborate directly with the Sahrawi people, who have the most substantial claim to the land. The Sahrawi, traditionally a nomadic people, continue to herd camels across the region even today.

The Sahrawi people share a profound, symbiotic bond with the land, a relationship that is acknowledged and respected by the Moroccan government. Whenever a government decision affects a specific area, the Sahrawi tribal elders of that area are consulted. In our situation, we could not have obtained tenements from the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) without the backing of the Sahrawi, the direct descendants of the land we aim to explore. We also ensure that the Sahrawi maintain an interest in these tenements. We have two areas of interest approximately 50km apart, and we liaise with two Sahrawi families, both of whom have shown me sacred sites where their ancestors have passed.

The Sahrawi revere the land, a sentiment that is reciprocated by the Moroccan government. The graves of their ancestors are significant landmarks in the landscape, and all parties involved, including our company, are dedicated to preserving these sacred sites. A remarkable phenomenon observed is that of camels visiting the graves of their former owners, long after they have passed.

Beyond the Moroccan Sahara, the Sahrawi receive support from Iran and Algeria. Both nations have their own political agendas and often attempt to incite unrest in third-party countries. The UN’s vision of Morocco ceding part of their country to an Iran-backed political regime is impractical.

In conclusion, our investment in the Moroccan Sahara is not a decision we have made lightly. We are cognizant of the political complexities and the sensitivities of the Sahrawi people. However, we are confident that our approach, which involves working directly with the Sahrawi and honouring their deep connection to the land, is the correct one. We are committed to ensuring that our exploration activities are conducted responsibly and sustainably, with the highest regard for the land and its people.