The Intex-MCC8 Mindoro Nickel Project covered by several Mineral Processing Sharing Agreements has been postponed since 2008. The anti mining struggle of its people and support groups has reached this form when the DENR issued the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project despite many concerns raised.
Since 1999, the people of Mindoro with the Church and other groups formed Alyansa Laban sa Mina in Mindoro to oppose mining projects and operations there. The main reason for the absence of people support for mining is the many socio-environmental impacts and issues of the project.
Mindoro Oriental and Occidental is locked together forming the Mindoro Island, the 7th biggest island in Philippines. The island’s rich watershed and arable land provides different agricultural products for the country. Meanwhile the Mindoro Strait is considered one of the most productive fishing grounds in the country.
With large-scale mining operations in the uplands, it is undeniable that there will be more negative impacts (both direct and indirect) versus the promised benefits to Mindorenos and the Philippines economy.
Some of the impacts of the development is the destruction of several watershed and key biodiversity areas. It will also cause erosion, flooding, and a long list of environmental risks. On the other end is the impact to the Mangyans whose lands will be affected—their sacred places will be affected and destroyed, their lands taken and their community misplaced. To date, the Mangyans continue on to their position to not allow this development aggression to push through.
A recent development is the reinstatement of the Mindoro Nickel Project's Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). This is seen as a betrayal of the rights of Mindorenos who have been clear in their opposition against the mining development. This project will impact indigenous peoples rights, and threaten food security and ecological integrity of Mindoro. It is unclear to opposing organizations why the government allowed this despite the (2011) guilty verdict of the Norwegian National Contact Point under the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirming the absence of genuine free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of people, lack of transparency and the absence of a substantive environmental impact assessment.
*More on the OECD complaint below.