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Phosphate mining in Matam, Ndiendouri-Ouali Diala deposits, SOMIVA (SERPM), Senegal

Matam's phosphates deposits, originally exploited to relieve Senegal from food insecurity stress, have triggered danger of food insecurity in the local surroundings of the mines' deposits by undermining the locals' arable lands and access to clean water.


En Français ci-dessous ----------------- The phosphastes de Matam include the Ndiendouri and Ouali Dialam deposits. Their exploitation has many social and environmental consequences. First exploited by the Société d’études et de réalisation des phosphates de Matam (SERPM), these deposits are now exploited by the Société minière de la vallée du fleuve (SOMIVA). The main localities around these deposits are Ndendory, Amady Ounaré, Bossiabé, Wali Diara and Pollène. Civil society organizations are denouncing that there has never been an Environmental Impact Study.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Phosphate mining in Matam, Ndiendouri-Ouali Diala deposits, SOMIVA (SERPM), Senegal
State or province:Matam Region
Location of conflict:Arrondissement de Wouro Sidy, Departements of Kanel and Matam
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Tailings from mines
Specific commodities:phosphates
Project Details and Actors
Project details

En Français ci-dessous ----------------- The food crisis of 2008 motivated the creation of the program for the Great Agricultural Offensive for Food and Abundance (GOANA). To achieve the objectives of the program, the Senegalese government encouraged the development of phosphate mining in the Matam region for the Senegalese agriculture’s consumption of fertilizer needs. Yet today these phosphates are mainly exported to the countries of the sub-region, particularly to Mali. The Société d’études et de réalisation des phosphates de Matam (SERPM) was granted an exploitation permit issued by a ministerial order on May 29, 2008, for a period of three years. This concession concerned the Southwest Lobe perimeter of Ndendory. For the exploitation of the deposit, the SERPM resorted to the services of the company Tracto Services Equipements, owned by the Senegalese businessman Cheick Amar who in May 2008 obtained 388 billion CFA francs investment (700 millions of dollars) from an anonymous consortium with US, Lebanese, Egyptian and Canadian capital (1). The production of natural phosphates increased from 20,000 tons in 2008 to 25,000 tons in 2009. SERPM and its partner Afcor built a modular granulator plant for the treatment of the phosphates. In 2012, a contractual dispute led Afcor to sue SERPM (2). Originally 51% owned by the Senegalese state, Cheick Amar gradually took control of the SERPM shares. This acquisition is opaque because there was no open tenders call, as required by Article 80 of the Code des Marches Publics (3). In 2011, a new exploitation concession was awarded to SERPM, on the perimeter of Ndiendouri-Ouali Diala, commonly known as the phosphates de Matam, in the department of Kanel, covering a total area of 661 km2. The concession has a validity of 25 years. The two deposits’ reserves of Ndiendouri and Ouali Diala are respectively estimated at 30 and 12 million tons. Annual production of fine phosphates is 1.5 million tons. SERPM became the Société minière de la Vallée du fleuve Sénégal (SOMIVA), in which the Senegalese state holds 10% of the capital.

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Project area:66,100
Level of Investment:700,000,000.00
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:20,000
Company names or state enterprises:Société minière de la vallée du fleuve (SOMIVA) from Senegal
Société d’études et de réalisation des phosphates de Matam (SERPM) from Senegal - A obtenu un permis d’exploitation de trois ans en mai 2008
Tracto Service Equipement (TSE) from Senegal - TSE a levé des fonds (700 millions de dollars) pour l'exploitation du gisement en 2008
Afcor Limited from Netherlands - Construction de l'usine de granulateur
Relevant government actors:Direction des Mines et de la Géologie, Office national de formation professionnelle (ONFP), Conseil départemental de Kanel
International and Finance InstitutionsLa Banque Islamique de Développement (BID) - A financé la SERPM
United States Trade and Development Agency (USTAD) from United States of America - A financé la SERPM
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Initiative pour la Transparence des Industries Extractives, ITIE
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Soil contamination, Mine tailing spills, Soil erosion, Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Occupational disease and accidents, Accidents, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Other Health impactsInfections respiratoires aiguës en forte augmentation, les ouvriers ne sont pas fournis l'équipement nécessaire pour travailler en sécurité
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Displacement, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Specific impacts on women
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsperte de terres arables et de pâturages
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Development of alternatives:EN--- No alternatives specifically articulated by the social actors but urgent need the company satisfies the populations' needs concerning their access to health care services.
FR--- Pas d'alternatives spécifiques articulées par les acteurs sociaux mais le besoin est urgent que l'entreprise réponde aux besoins des populations en matière d'accès à la santé.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:EN--No improvement of the local populations' living conditions has been reported.
FR--Aucune amélioration des conditions de vie des populations locales n'a été signalée.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

DECRET n° 2011-770 en date du 8 juin 2011, Journal Officiel
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References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

La SERPM et les phosphates de Matam au service de la GOANA, Ministère des Mines, de l'Industrie
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Fiche d'opportunités sur les mines au Sénégal, Apix, 2013
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Le secteur minier du Sénégal, Ambassade de France au Sénégal, Service économique Sénégal, Cap Vert, Gambie
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Créneaux porteurs du secteur secondaire, Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances
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Rapport Initiative pour la Transparence des Industries Extractives, Senegal, 2014
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Situation économique et sociale de la région de Matam, Edition 2009
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Phosphates de Matam : Un investissement de près de 150 milliards attendu, Seneweb, 13 Janvier 2016
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Exploitation des phosphates de Ndendory : Bassirou Doro Ly exige de la transparence à Cheikh Amar, 18 Juillet 2014
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Bassirou Doro Ly exige de la transparence à Cheikh Amar, Sud Quotidien, 7 Juillet 2014
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Famy Sénégal, Entreprise
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Les phosphates de MATAM : Halte à la spoliation !! Dakar Actu
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Matam, La production de phosphate en phase de test, 6 Novembre 2014
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Macky Sall couvre Cheikh Amar et court-circuite l’IGE, 1er novembre 2014
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Conventions Minières, l ampleur du désastre
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Exploitation minière : Dans l’enfer des phosphates de Matam, 20 Aout 2011
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Somiva has been won over by Bia’s know-how! 18 August 2014
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Phosphate de Matam : 350 milliards pour Cheikh Amar, 9 Mai 2012
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Matam : Les parlementaires "inspectent"les mines de phosphates, Seneweb, 13 Janvier 2016
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(1) Sénégal : le virage stratégique de Cheikh Amar, Jeune Afrique, 28 mai 2008
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Sénégal: la production du phosphate de Matam passera de 500 000 tonnes au triple à partir de 2016, 12 Novembre 2014
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(3) Cheikh Amar et le scandale des phosphates de Matam ... Allo Dakar, 2016
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Phosphates de Matam : Les réserves estimées à plus de 135 millions de tonnes, Seneweb, 13th January 2016
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Inauguration des phosphates de Matam: Wade assimile Senghor et Diouf à des "prédateurs", 21 Janvier 2010
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L'ex-ministre du Budget, Ibrahima Sarr, Dg de Somiva : La Société minière va injecter 140 milliards de F Cfa à Matam, dans les 5 prochaines années, 15 Mars 2013
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Les phosphates et les élus locaux de Matam, 11 Mai 2015
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La vérité sur l’exploitation des phosphates de Matam, 11 Septembre 2011
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Les députés fouillent les phosphates de Ndendory de Cheikh Amar, 1er December 2016
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Pape Moctar Ndiaye, Sénégal: Exploitation des phosphates de Matam - 200 jeunes formés aux métiers des mines, 20 aout 2015
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(2) Phosphates de Matam : Afcor bloque les comptes de la Serpm, Avril 2012
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Wade inaugure l’usine des phosphates de Matam
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Stéphanie C. Tohon, Sénégal : les réserves de phosphate de Ndendory seraient quatre fois plus importantes que prévues, 16 Janvier 2016
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Exploitation des phosphates de Ndindory : une usine d’engrais prévue à Matam, 31/10/2014
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Elimane H. Kane, Le Sénégal est-il sur la bonne voie dans la gouvernance des ressources minérales, au bénéfice des populations ? 10 Novembre 2016
[click to view]

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Last update26/02/2018
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