Chromite mining in Salcedo and killing of activist Francisco Canayoung, Philippines

Philippine anti-mining activist Francisco Canayoung was murdered after opposing chromite mining in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, which drastically destroys the health of local communities and the environment.


Extensive small-scale legal and illegal chromite mining in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, has provoked rampant human rights abuses, while substantially destroying the local environment [1]. Conflicts between mining companies and local anti-mining activists exacerbated on May 1, 2012, when community leader Francisco P. Canayoung was murdered by a suspect, alleged to be employed by the Terrestrial Mining Corporation (TMC), one of the three mining companies active in the region [2]. Canayoung opposed mining activities in Barangay Carapdapan, due to the devastating negative health and environmental impacts on the community [3].

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Basic Data
Name Chromite mining in Salcedo and killing of activist Francisco Canayoung, Philippines
ProvinceEastern Samar
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific CommoditiesChromite ore
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsChromite mining in Salcedo is composed of a network of several legal and illegal small-scale miners, which extract chromite ore over a large area and sell it to larger companies. Since this is an uncontrolled and partly illegal network, no concrete numbers on amount of production were found.

Three larger companies are involved as miners and traders; Terrestrial Mining Corporation; Yinshu Mining Corporation; and Exotic Treasure Collection Mining Corporation [4]. While they are classified as small-scale mining operations [6], they were reported to engage in buying ores from both legal and illegal mining operations [2].

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [7], Yinshu Mining Corporation holds an Application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (APSA) for an area of 2,076ha, registered on May 3, 2005; TMC has an APSA for 776,2ha on July 15, 2005.

Workers sell 1kg of chromite ore for around 2 pesos; daily incomes amount to 200 pesos. Per week, they can earn around 1500 pesos (ca. 30 USD), however after deduction of food and tools etc, only a few hundred pesos are left over (see video).
Project Area (in hectares)>2,800ha
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationunknown
Start Date15/07/2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesTerrestrial Mining Company (formerly Jerry M. Lanoy) (TMC) from Philippines - mining
Yinshu Mining Corporation from China - mining
Exotic Treasure Collection Mining Corporation - mining
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCarapdapan Movement for Development Association Inc. (CAMADA); Carapdapan Land Owners Association (CLOA); Barangay Integrated Upland Farmers Assocaition of Salcedo (BIUFAS); Task Force Salcedo.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents
OtherChild labour
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherChild labour
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
On May 1, 2012 community leader Francisco P. Canayoung was murdered
Development of AlternativesLocal associations campaign to stop mining and related health and environmental impacts.

Other associations, also at the national level, demand a proper investigation of the murder of Mr. Canayoung, and governmental assistance against the harassment of local groups by the mining industry [1].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Mining activities and intimidations go on.
Sources and Materials

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]

Executive Order No. 79 (July 2012) Institutionalizing And Implementing Reforms In The Philippine Mining Sector Providing Policies And Guidelines To Ensure Environmental Protection And Responsible Mining In The Utilization Of Mineral Resources
[click to view]


[1] Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. 2012. Mining Rush in Salcedo, Eastern Samar Rakes Up Violence and Social Conflicts [July 24-27, 2012]. Fact Finding Mission Report.
[click to view]


[2] Asian Human Rights Commission (4/07/2012): PHILIPPINES: Murdered mining activist knew he and two others would be killed. (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[3] FIDH - Worldwide Human Rights Movement (20/06/2012): The Philippines: assassination, death threats and intimidation of environmental activist. (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[4] GMANEWS online (20/10/2012): "Church groups lament LGU failure to enforce law in E. Samar's mining-hit areas" (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[5] GMANEWS online (10/12/2012): "Chromite rush in Samar: Hard labor for P2 a kilo" (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[6] The Bulletin Today (8/09/2013): "Mining operations prompt Eastern Samar town of Salcedo for environmental summit" (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

[7] Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Republic of the Philippines (accessed 13/03/2015)
[click to view]

Caritas, Death of an activist: killings of environmentalists mount in Philippines
[click to view]

Media Links

Video "Chromite kids" on child labour in chromite mining
[click to view]

Other Documents

Child labour in chromite ore mining Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim.scheidel "at"
Last update29/03/2015