Last update:
2015-05-26

Marcventure’s mining operations in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Philippines

Marcventures mining activities threaten ancestral lands, endangered species and crucial water reserves. Several thousand villagers protest against the mine.


Description:

On July 1, 1993, Marcventure Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) received a mining permit covering 4,799ha, located in the Diwata Mountain Range, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur [1]. In 2008, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted an Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) to the company, in spite of an overlap of their project area with a central watershed forest reserve, declared as such in the 2009 Presidential Proclamation No. 1747 [2]. The watershed area is crucial to the province’s irrigation and water supply, as well as livelihoods, lives and indigenous cultures [2;3;4]. It further contains one of the few remaining primary forests and biodiversity hotspots, such as the habitat of the endangered Philippine eagle, making it a key target for conservation efforts [5].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Marcventure’s mining operations in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Philippines
Country:Philippines
State or province:Surigao del Sur
Location of conflict:Cantilan municipality, Carrascal municipality
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
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:nickel ore
Land
Copper
Gold
Iron ore
Rare metals
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Marcventure Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) was created by Ventura Timber Corporation (VTC). The company holds a Mining Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) MPSA No. 016-93-X (SMR), covering 4,799ha, located in the Diwata Mountain Range, Cantilan Surigao del Sur. The MPSA, granted on July 1, 1993, states gold and copper reserves and on July 1, 2018 [1]. The company was further approved to mine nickel ore within its MPSA [7;11].

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Project area:4,799
Level of Investment:>10,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:>10,000
Start of the conflict:01/07/1993
Company names or state enterprises:Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) from Philippines
Marcventures Holdings, Inc. (MARC) (MARC) from Philippines - mining
Relevant government actors:Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Local Governmental Units (LGU) of Cantilan and Carrascal
International and Finance InstitutionsPhilippine Business Bank from Philippines - banking, finance, investment
Asian Alliance Investment Corporation from Philippines - banking, finance, investment
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Carcanmadcarlan Baywatch Foundation; Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM); Baywatch foundation; Tambuyog Development Center; Nagpakabana nga Carcanmadcarlanon (NnC); HARIBON Foundation; Catholic Bishop Church in the Philippines (CBCP); Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center — Kasama sa Kailkasan/Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-KsK/FOE); Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA); Green Mindanao Association.
The petitioners for a writ of Kalikasan came from the Tribal Coalition of Mindanao, Daging Manobo Sectoral Tribal Council, urbistondo Manobo-Mamanwa Sectoral Tribal Council, Kinalablaban Sectoral Tribal Council, Cabanghan Tribal Community – Manobo Tribe.
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Indigenous Badjao and Manobo tribes
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Other Environmental impacts, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), 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, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Mine tailing spills
Other Environmental impactsSiltation of closeby rivers and coastal areas; related declines in fish stock
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Other Health impacts
Potential: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Other Health impactsExposure to heavy metals
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Specific impacts on women
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Repression
Strengthening of participation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:Locals EJO and the LGU of Cantilan want to project to be stopped.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project goes on.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]

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

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7586



AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL INTEGRATED PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEM, DEFINING ITS SCOPE AND COVERAGE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[3] PIPLINKS online (16/08/2010): "Surigao Town Celebrate Fiesta by Opposing Mining Code" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[4] PIPLINKS online (12/04/2013): "Philippine tribal protest forces mine closure" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[6] PIPLINKS online (24/08/2010): "Mayor, anti-mining group unite vs mining project in Surigao Sur " (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[7] PIPLINKS online (15/07/2010): "Sursur Mayor denied permit of Marcventures Mining" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[8] PIPLINKS online (17/08/2010): "Surigao del Sur Town Denies Mining Company Permit the Second Time Around" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[9] GMA NEWS online (30/05/2011): SC asked to issue writ of kalikasan vs mining firms in Surigao" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[2] PIPLINKS online (29/04/2009): "Officials say Cantilan is Surigao’s ‘ no-mining town’ " (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[10] Manila Bulletin online (17/10/2014): "Marcventures allowed to resume mining nickel" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[11] Marcventures Holding Inc. company website (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[12] PHILSTAR online (06/08/2013): "Marcventures Mining boosts capital to P1B" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

[5] PIPLINKS online (29/04/2012): "Surigao del Sur residents stage mining rallies: Bishop leads anti; Ex-Gov leads pro" (accessed 23/05/2015)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video showing Marcventures' operations in spite of MGB's suspension order in 2014
[click to view]

Video showing siltation caused by Marcventures mining
[click to view]

Other documents

[1] MGB document on mining concessions in 2014 Source: DENR
[click to view]

Barricades stopped the company (PHOTOS BY VANESSA L. ALMEDA) Source: https://asenquirer.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/barricade-stops-nickel-mining-firm-in-cantilan/
[click to view]

Mining site Source: http://www.financemanila.advfn.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=391&start=1612
[click to view]

Mining activities Source: http://caraganews.net/57566/cantilangnons-operasyon-sa-marcventures-ihunong/
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update26/05/2015
Comments
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