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. (http://www.mindoro.com/s/AgataOverview.asp) 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).
June 17, 1999: Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued Exploration Permit.
June 23, 1999: The MRL team began the “early stage of exploration”.
**The May 11 certification of Raiz read that, based on "field investigation and verification conducted by the NCIP within the areas covered by MPSA XIII-07," there are "no indigenous peoples living within the subject areas, nor are there any existing applications for certificate of ancestral domain claim or certificate of ancestral land title.” (Reference: http://gina.ph/CyberDyaryo/features/cd1999_0708_003.htm).
To date, the Mamanwa communities have not been properly consulted about the project. This was also the basis for the filing of an IFC complaint against MRL. (http://alyansatigilmina.net/2012/08/30/an-easy-call-for-ifc-deny-support-to-a-mining-project-in-the-philippines/).
In its Scoping Study in 2010, MRL indicated the communities that will be affected by the project include Mamanwa and Manobo communities and fisherfolks and farmers. It said it will impact Lake Mainit and effect development, environmental and social impacts such as: a. Erosion and rehabilitation of drill sites and trenches; b. Waste material; c. Water and effluent management; d. Consultation of communities/FPIC; and e. Compensation and management of local expectations of IP communities.
For the Mamanwas, a major concern is the displacement of indigenous communities and their culture, and the lack of consultation (including general public) about the mining project. The mining activities and mine expansion will cause soil erosion that will eventually destroy farmlands and lake causing reduction in harvest for farmers and fishermen.