PPT case: Glencore Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in South Cotabato, Philippines

Militarization and killings as key ingredients of one of the largest mining areas in South East Asia for copper and gold; seek for justice still ongoing

The Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in the Philippines, owned by Glencore Xstrata, the Australian Indophil, and the local subsidiary Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI), is one of the largest copper-gold mines in Southeast Asia. It covers a mine area of around 10,000 hectares in in the municipalities of Malungon (Sarangani), Columbio (Sultan Kudarat), Tampakan (South Cotabato) and Kiblawan (Davao del Sur), as well as four provinces in the Davao Region and the Regions XI and XII. The project directly impacts watersheds, around 3,000 hectares of forest, and ancestral domains that are sacred for local populations. An estimate of 5,000 people, mostly indigenous peoples, will have to be re-settled as a consequence of the mining, and many more are likely to be affected. The operations will also endanger food and water sources, impacting living conditions and possibly leading to social unrest. The risks of pollution, erosion, siltation, flash floods, landslides, and other seismic geo-hazards are also very high. For these reasons the Bla’an people and other indigenous tribes have been protesting against the mining project. In response to the strong opposition of local populations, however, military forces and paramilitary groups have been deployed in the area and are acting in defence of the investment. This militarization resulted in the killing of anti-mining and indigenous peoples leaders, and other countless violations of human rights.
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Basic Data
NamePPT case: Glencore Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in South Cotabato, Philippines
ProvinceSouth Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur
SiteMunicipality of Tampakan, South Cotabato Municipality of Malungon, Sarangani Municipality of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat Municipality of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesCopper
Other aggregate metals in the copper and gold ores.
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
The proposed mine structure will significantly affect the whole ecosystem of the four provinces especially the supply of water. The Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) shall cut-off the 14-km range including the head water of the Mal-Padada river system. The Fresh Water Dam (FWD) will contain at least 215-million liters of water, cutting the source of the Mal-Padada river system and will directly affect the supply of water to the Manteo-Buayan river system. The Waste Rock Storage Facility (WRSF) that will raise approximately 300 to 400 meters high will be silting the Dalul-Alip river system and will cover the rice fields of Colombio municipality of the hundreds of thousands of silted soil from the Tampakan Mines.
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Project Area (in hectares)10,000
Level of Investment (in USD)5,200,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population5,000 directly-impacted people will be displaced; 150,000 farmers whose livelihoods will be at stake; and downstream communities whose water sources will be affected.
Start Date1995
Company Names or State EnterprisesGlencore International AG from Switzerland
Glencore-Xstrata from Switzerland
Alsons Group of Companies
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau,

National Commission on Indigenous Peoples,

Department of Agriculture,

Armed Forces of the Philippines—Philippine Army
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTampakan Forum, Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Popular Peoples Tribunal, Catholic Church (local bishop), Armed rebel groups, Tribal groups (Blaan), Social Action Center of Marbel < http://marbeldiocese.freeservers.com/index.html>, Alyansa Tigil Mina < http://www.alyansatigilmina.net/>, Philippine Misereor Partnerships Inc < http://pmpi.org.ph/>, Legal Rights Center , Philippine Association for Intercultural Development http://www.pafid.org.ph/, London Working Group on Mining in the Philippines, Lilak-Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights , Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates < http://www.philippinehumanrights.org/>
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Bla’an community
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Public campaigns
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Referendum other local consultations
Land occupation
Boycotts of companies-products
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Presentation to the case to the Permanent Peoples Tribunal
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Fostering a culture of peace
Institutional changes
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesAlyansa Tigil Mina and supporting groups proposes that the company pull out from Tampakan. The government should support the revitalization of agriculture industry in the province.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Not yet. It is successful only when the mining activities fully stop and when the mining project is closed.
Sources and Materials

Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, RA 8371
[click to view]

Mining Act of 1995, RA 7942
[click to view]


Mining vs Food: Tampakan Case Study
[click to view]

Mining in Tampakan: Intensifying Conflict, Danger in Perpetuity
[click to view]

Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project
[click to view]

Tampakan Fact Finding Mission Report, April 2012


Blaan leaders to NCIP “No to Tampakan mining, we want non-FPIC Coverage”
[click to view]

Mining in Tampakan: Risks and Alternatives
[click to view]

Tampakan: how to lose money and terrify people
[click to view]

Bishops appeal to stop Tampakan mining project
[click to view]

Tampakan Forum PR: Groups blame mining companies for killings, HRVs in Tampakan: “Their blood is in your hands!”
[click to view]

Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power
[click to view]

Testimony of the case in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal Hearing - Corporate Human Rights Violations and Peoples Access to Justice. Geneva, 23 June 2014
[click to view]

Media Links

Killer Dam: Xstrata Tampakan
[click to view]

Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) for Peoples' Advocacy vis-a-vis Extractive Industries
[click to view]

Other Documents

Tampakan mine area
[click to view]

Other CommentsSee more at: http://alyansatigilmina.net/2013/01/29/tampakan, http://www.piplinks.org/companies/xstrata
Meta Information
ContributorAlyansa Tigil Mina
Last update07/06/2015