Mamanwa Communities of Dinarawan and Bunga Asserting Ancestral Land Rights over MRL Agata Mining expansion, Philippines

Mining sites encroach ancestral lands: The Mamanwa Communities of Dinarawan and Bunga assert their ancestral land rights over the further expansion of MRL mining activities


The MRL Agata Nickel Mining project will expand, with a permit to expand to what it calls the Tapian Extension (which has an Exploration Permit for 6,842.28 hectares). This EP overlaps with the Mamanwa ancestral domain claim that has a total area of 8,000 hectares. ( Chronological events with regard to the expansion in Jabonga are as follows: May 11, 1999: MRL received certification to begin exploration in work in Agata, Santiago, Agusan del Norte, from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

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Basic Data
NameMamanwa Communities of Dinarawan and Bunga Asserting Ancestral Land Rights over MRL Agata Mining expansion, Philippines
ProvinceAgusan Del Norte
SiteMunicipality of Jabonga
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral ore exploration
Specific Commoditiesnickel
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMindoro Resources Limited is a junior mining company focused on nickel, gold and copper-gold explorations in the Philippines. Its headquarters are in Edmonton, Canada, and it is dual listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture and Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is one of its major shareholders with an investment of up to C$10 million, equivalent to 9% of MRL’s total equity.

The Agata DSO project is held by Agata Mining Ventures Inc. ("AMVI"), a joint venture company owned 40% by Mindoro and 60% by TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc.

Estimated contained nickel is 390,000 tonnes.
Project Area (in hectares)8,000
Level of Investment (in USD)12,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population2,000-5,000
Start Date1999
Company Names or State EnterprisesMindoro Resources Ltd from Canada - mining
TVIRD Resource Development Phils. Inc. (TVIRD) from Philippines
Agata Mining Ventures Inc. from Philippines - mining
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources
International and Financial InstitutionsCorporación financiera Internacional (CFI)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersDinarawan Indigenous People’s Organization (DIPO)

Philippine Association for Intercultural Development

Alyansa Tigil Mina

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Mamanwa Communities of Dinarawan and Bunga
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Other Health impacts, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Displacement, Land dispossession
OtherViolation of indigenous peoples rights
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseIn March 2012, the CAO Ombudsman concluded its process and referred the complaint to CAO Compliance for initial appraisal.
Development of AlternativesCancellation of the project expansion in ancestral lands
Do you consider this as a success?No
Sources and Materials

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA)
[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]


Mindoro Resources Company website
[click to view]

Other Documents

Mamanwa people—Asserting Ancestral Land Rights Amidst the Challenge of the Mining Industry
[click to view]

Map of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte Jabonga is a municipality composed of indigenous cultural communities and Christian dwellers, that depend on the land for different crops and Lake Mainit (and Butuan Bay) for most of their livelihood.
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAlyansa Tigil Mina
Last update15/04/2015