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Intex's Mindoro Nickel Project, Philippines


Description:

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.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Intex's Mindoro Nickel Project, Philippines
Country:Philippines
State or province:Mindoro
Location of conflict:Municipalities of Victoria in Oriental Mindoro, and Sablayan in Occidental, Mindoro
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
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Nickel, Cobalt
Rare metals

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

Mindoro Nickel, located on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, is today considered one of the Philippines government’s priority mineral project. The approximately 113km2 concession area (11,315 ha) is located about 30km from the coast in the central part of Mindoro. Extensive nickel (Ni)-laterite mineralization was formed by the accumulation of nickel and cobalt (Co) in the tropical soils of the island through intensive chemical weathering of ultramafics source rocks in late Tertiary to recent time. The costs of construction of the mine were estimated to amount to 2.455 billion USD. The Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking was appointed to act as exclusive financial adviser for the Mindoro Nickel project. (Source: http://www.intexresources.com.ph/mindoronickel/mindoro-nickel-project.html)

It was reported that Intex had signed in 2012 a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with MCC8 Group Co. Ltd., a Chinese state controlled construction company and a former division of China’s largest nickel producer Jinchuan Group. MCC8 group was granted a project management contract to manage finance, construction and operation of the mine. (Source: Nickelinvestinnews.com, see below sources).

There is an estimate of 40,000 tons of nickel and 3,000 tons of cobalt to be mined per year for at least 30 years operation.

This will result in 130,000 metric tons of ammonium sulfate and four million tons of waste annually.

Project area:11,315
Level of Investment:2,455,000,000.00
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000-100,000
Start of the conflict:06/01/1999
Company names or state enterprises:MCC8 Group Co. Ltd (MCC8) from China - Partner
Intex Resources ASA from Norway - mining
Intex Resources Philippines Inc. from Philippines - mining
Jinchuan Group Co. Ltd from China
Relevant government actors:Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
International and Finance InstitutionsSociété Générale Corporate & Investment Banking (SGCIB) from France - finance, banking
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Alyansa Laban sa Mina
CBCP - National Secretariat for Social Action
Alyansa Tigil Mina
Philippine Indigenous People Links (Piplinks)
Future In Our Hands (FIOH)
Legal Rights and Natural Resources-Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KsK/FOEI)

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Farmers
Local ejos
Social movements
Fisher people
Local government/political parties
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local scientists/professionals
Pastoralists
indigenous mangyans of Mindoro
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Other Health impacts, Accidents, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Deaths
Other Health impactsPotential exposure to toxic mining waste
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Project temporarily suspended
As of March 2015, the ECC for the project has been re-approved.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Campaign success will only be achieved when the mining companies pull out from Mindoro.

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

25-year moratorium on mining in Oriental Mindoro (2008)

Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, RA 8371
http://www.gov.ph/1997/10/29/republic-act-no-8371/

Executive Order No. 79, s. 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
http://www.gov.ph/2012/07/06/executive-order-no-79-s-2012/

Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA7942)
http://www.psdn.org.ph/chmbio/ra7942.html

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

OECD finds Norwegian mining company guilty

‘No reason for Mindoro Nickel Project to be pursued,’ say Filipino groups
http://alyansatigilmina.net/2011/12/02/oecd-finds-norwegian-mining-company-guilty/

Final Statement: Complaint from the Future in Our Hands (FIOH) against Intex Resources ASA and the Mindoro Nickel Project
http://www.menschenrechte.uzh.ch/entscheide/intex_final.pdf

Intex Resources Inc. Company website
http://www.intexresources.com.ph

Nickelinvestingnews.com on the involvement of Chinese MCC8 group Co.Ltd. (accessed 24/04/2015)
http://nickelinvestingnews.com/3380-norways-intex-signs-deal-with-mcc8-group-to-develop-mindoro-nickel-project.html

Church, Envi Groups upset over Intex-Chinese partner’s relentless call for Mindoro Nickel Project

‘Mindoro Struggle’ publication launched
http://alyansatigilmina.net/2012/01/23/church-envi-groups-upset-over-intex-chinese-partners-relentless-call-for-mindoro-nickel-project/

Other documents

Mindoro Campaign: Protecting Island Ecology Defending People’s Rights A compilation of several studies on the Mindoro critical ecosystems, including mining threat to food security and the Final Statement of the Norwegian NCP on the violated OECD Guidelines.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Mindoro_Campaign_Protecting_Island_Ecology_Defending_People_s_Rights_January_2012.pdf

Mindoro Nickel Project Map Map from Intex
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Mindoro_Nickel_Project_Map_from_Intex.png

Meta information

Contributor:Alyansa Tigil Mina
Last update24/04/2015

Images

 

Mindoro Nickel Project Map

Map from Intex