By Habte Hagos, Eritrea Focus
Australia’s potash miner Danakali (ASX, LON: DNK) has requested a cancellation of its listing on the London Stock Exchange, expected to be effective on 24 September.1
Danakali Ltd has been working for nearly a decade to develop the Colluli Sulphate of Potash Project in Eritrea – which it describes as a “Global Game Changer”. The project has an expected life of 200 years and is due to become fully operational in February 2022, subject to the completion of a power plant by Aggreko Plc (a British Company based just outside Glasgow, Scotland).
Dankali is listed in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Australian Stock Exchange. The share price shortly after listing in September 2018 stood at 53.50p but they have been sluggish ever since and steadily dropped, standing at just 21.55p per share today, with an average daily trading volume of between 5,000 and 10,000 shares.
On 28 July 2021, Danakali Ltd issued a “press release” saying “Shares of the Danakali stock can be purchased on either the London Stock Exchange or the Australian Stock Exchange under the ticker DNK. Your purchase of future sale of Danakali stock is completely confidential. Contact your local bank or broker to find out the specific process to purchase your DNK shares today”. The company also bragged about its strong partnerships with: ENAMCO (the Eritrean Government), AFC, Afreximbank, EuroChem, Aggreko and RA International. It added “these key partners are all working with us to bring Colluli into production as quickly and safely as possible”. However, this upbeat rhetoric has not delivered the desired outcome, perhaps explaining today’s announcement.
London Mining Network member group Eritrea Focus, in partnership with Freedom United and other partner organisations, has campaigned for many years for Danakali Ltd and others to divest from Eritrea. Eritrea is a country that enslaves its people in perpetuity in the ineptly called “National Service”, which the UN Commission of Inquiry asserts to be modern day slavery. There is no private sector in Eritrea, the Government owns the entire workforce and deploys them where it pleases, including sending them to the war front in Tigray with little or no military training.
We wrote on numerous occasions to Danakali Ltd and its partners stating “as the Colluli project is a joint venture with the Eritrean National Mining Company (ENAMCO), there are allegations that National Service conscripts are working and more will work on this project. Furthermore, it is certain that profits from this project will bolster the state’s ability to sustain this forced conscription system. Much of the government’s income comes from mining projects. Indeed, the UN has noted that “one important and undisputed source of revenue is proceeds from mining operations owned jointly by the Eritrean state and a transnational corporation.2” But the company continues with the project, commending Eritrea’s stability and conducive investment climate.
Eritrea Focus and its partners will work hard for a complete divestment from the country until slavery is eradicated for good and the people are granted their human rights under the UN charter, and not treated as commodities that the Government can trade as it pleases.