+27 71 448 3496

Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco

Share Article
Water is a scarce natural resource in Morocco and authorities are concerned about the management as the country’s mining industry develops. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco 

Water management is the key focus area in discussions between Emmerson, a Moroccan-focused potash development company, and the authorities of Morocco about the development of Emmerson’s Khemisset Potash Project.

London based Emmerson needs to get an environmental permit and water management is a key area of concern in Morocco following low rainfall in recent years.

Khemisset is about 90km from the capital city Rabat and the planned bulk port of Kenitra Atlantique. According to Graham Clarke, CEO of Emmerson, the company’s proposals, and specific revisions are robust and he remains cautiously optimistic that they will be accepted. “However, the timing of approvals is in the hands of the Moroccan authorities,” says Clarke.   

Environmental permit a priority (Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco)

“Emmerson’s priority right now is to secure the necessary environmental approvals from the Moroccan authorities for Khemisset,” says Clarke.

Khemisset will be the first potash mine in Morocco and the Moroccan authorities have sought to ensure that all aspects of the project comply with the highest standards.

According to Clarke Emmerson has always emphasised the economic benefits of the project to local communities, as well as the strategic importance of building a new source of potash in Morocco.

“These aspects have been widely acknowledged, and the project has received significant support both in Morocco and in the UK,” says Clarke.

Over the course of 2022, Emmerson has addressed several issues relating to its potential impact on local and neighbouring communities and businesses. However, debate about the water use and water management continue.

Foremost among recent revisions is confirmation of the capacity to use recycled water from the Khemisset Waste Water Treatment Plant, instead of drawing freshwater direct from the Ouljet Essoltane Dam. This revision, developed in conjunction with engineering firm Reminex, significantly mitigates risks around water supply levels during dry periods.

Dry tailings to reduce water consumption (Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco)

Emmerson has also determined that a dry tailings system will now be employed at Khemisset to reduce water consumption and essentially eliminate any risk of saline fluid outflow in the event of an extreme rainfall event. Clarke says that such tailings storage facilities are in use at various potash operations around the world.

“The finer technical details of the above, and other specific areas, continue to be reviewed by the environmental and water agencies. These proposals are in line with Emmerson’s determination, as a responsible investor, to pursue the highest environmental standards in everything that we do at Khemisset.

“The company is working through these solutions with the relevant government departments to ensure they are acceptable to all stakeholders, although the timing of final approvals is in the hands of the Moroccan authorities,” says Clarke.

Global potash market outlook (Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco)

Potash prices skyrocketed in 2022 following the Ukraine crisis, and the imposition of sanctions on Russia and Belarus, who together account for approximately 40% of global potash production. By the end of 2022, prices had fallen back somewhat but remains well above historic levels.

According to Emmerson the market for agricultural produce such as grain, oilseed, and soya, are expected to be tight, leading to sustained high prices for those commodities as well as fertilisers such as potash.

In the long term, the growing global population and the transition to more resource-intensive diets, combined with scarcity of cultivatable land, will lead to an increasing use of fertilisers to improve yields.

Africa will experience the highest population growth in the world and will thus have the greatest need for increased food production.

Clarke says that Khemisset, which will be the first commercial potash mine on the continent in almost 50 years, is important due to geography, as well as in the context of worldwide potash demand.

Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco

WhyAfrica readers and followers can now become members of WhyAfrica. Having membership for one year allows you access to valuable business intelligence and insight about projects, investments, the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and the political economy of Africa.

WhyAfrica members will be able to publish their story on the WhyAfrica website and on all its social media platforms (corporate members pay more but can publish four articles per year).

WhyAfrica members will also receive four updated reports per year about developments across Africa in the mining, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, water management, ESG, environmental management and tourism sectors, as well as the “WhyAfrica Hawks Eye” Africa outlook report for 2023.

In addition, WhyAfrica members will receive an exclusive report with video clips and images about the projects and countries we visit during our annual WhyAfrica Road Trip (in 2023 we will visit the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Zimbabwe or Botswana, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya).

Members will also have an opportunity to join us on certain parts of the road trip and will be eligible for a huge discount to attend the WhyAfrica networking events before the road trip departs in Johannesburg, South Africa in July, and about halfway through the trip in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in August. 

One of WhyAfrica’s goals is to identify opportunities and challenges companies will face when doing business in Africa, and at the same time, we stay up to date with how geopolitics and the changing political economies in Africa affect your business. As a member you will have access to all this business intelligence. You can now register and pay to become a member by simply clicking on the following link: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/


WhyAfrica reports about, and publishes newsletters, magazines and research reports about natural resources and the primary sectors of African economies, and the infrastructure, equipment and engineering methods needed to extract and utilise these resources in an efficient, responsible, sustainable, ethic and environmentally friendly way, so that it will benefit the people of Africa.

Furthermore, WhyAfrica promotes Africa as an investment and travel destination, analyses the continent’s business environment and investment opportunities, and reports on how the political economies of African countries affect their development.         

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message.

Emmerson focused on water management in Morocco

Share Article


AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management