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Pujada-Hallmark nickel mine on ancestral lands, Oriental Davao, Philippines


The area surrounding the Mt. Hamiguitan range, located in Mati municipality in oriental Davao, Philippines, is a beautiful and pristine island ecosystem and a major biodiversity hotspot, providing habitat to numerous endangered and protected species, such as the Philippine eagle, for which reason several parts of the area are under national protection since 2004 [1;2]. The area is further a central livelihood source for farmers and fishermen, as well as the indigenous Mandaya and Manobe groups [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pujada-Hallmark nickel mine on ancestral lands, Oriental Davao, Philippines
State or province:Province of Oriental Davao
Location of conflict:Barangay Macambol, Mati 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:Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Land
Rare metals
Nickel, Cobalt
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Pujada nickel (and cobalt) mine is an open pit mine deposit, located largely in the municipality of Mati, province of Davao Oriental, Philippines [4].

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Project area:17,573
Level of Investment:1,500,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:3,454 (most directly affected)
Start of the conflict:08/07/2004
Company names or state enterprises:BHP Billiton (BHP) from United Kingdom
Asiaticus Management Corporation (AMCOR) (AMCOR) from Philippines - mining
Hallmark Mining Corporation from Philippines - mining
Austral-Asia Link Mining Corporation from Philippines - mining
Relevant government actors:Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippine government
International and Finance InstitutionsDeutsche Bank (DB) from Germany - banking, finance
Barclays Bank from United Kingdom - banking, finance
BNP Paribas (BNP) from France
Bank of America (BofA) from United States of America - banking, finance
JP Morgan Chase (JPM) from United States of America
UBS Switzerland (UBS) from Switzerland - banking, finance
Citigroup Inc. from United States of America - banking, finance
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. from United States of America - banking, finance
Commerzbank from Germany
HSBC United Kingdom (HSCB) from United Kingdom
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Macambol Multisectoral Alliance for Integral Development (MMSAID); Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KsK) Friends of the Earth Philippines; Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibiliy (ECCR); Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), and others.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Mandaya and Manobe indigenous
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Threats to use arms
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, 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 ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsPotential heath impacts due to potential pollution of sources of drinking water due to mining spills
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:The central proposal of the local EJOs is to stop mining activities and permits. Others highlight the potential to develop an area of ecotourism, instead of mining [1].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The final outcome is not yet clear. Nevertheless, the case has been important for mining opposition in the Philippines, as it questioned the legitimacy of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 at the Supreme Court.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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]

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Robert Goodland and Clive Wicks. 2008. Philippines: Mining or Food? Case Study 4: Nickel and Cobalt in Davao Oriental – Mindanao. The Hallmark Project. The Working Group on Mining in the Philippines
[click to view]

[8] Jan Wilem van Gelder and Denise Kouwenhoven, 2009. Involvement of German banks in the Philippine mining sector. A research paper prepared by Profundo for philippinenbüro e.V. and Misereor (accessed 07/04/2015)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] on the project (accessed 26/03/2015)
[click to view]

[5] BBC News (23/10/2008) "'Bribery' secured Philippine mine" (accessed 06/04/2015)
[click to view]

[2] MindaNews (10/07/2014): "DENR wants Mt. Hamiguitan an ASEAN Heritage Park, too" (accessed 04/06/2015)
[click to view]

[3] Pujada Hallmark Nickel Laterine Project Profile (accessed 26/3/2015).
[click to view]

[6] CAFOD (12/06/2012) "Mining giant BHP Billiton pulls out of disputed Philippine project"
[click to view]

[7] on the supreme court case (accessed 06/04/2015)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim.scheidel "at"
Last update07/04/2015
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