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
NamePujada-Hallmark nickel mine on ancestral lands, Oriental Davao, Philippines
ProvinceProvince of Oriental Davao
SiteBarangay 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 CommoditiesLand
Nickel, Cobalt
Rare metals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Pujada nickel (and cobalt) mine is an open pit mine deposit, located largely in the municipality of Mati, province of Davao Oriental, Philippines [4].

The deposit was reported to contain about 1.3% nickel reserves, amounting to 200 million MT, corresponding to a gross value of 22.7 billion USD [4]. Also cobalt reserves are present [1].

There are 7 Mining Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) issued for exploiting the side, which all together amount to 17,573 ha. The MPSA are valid for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years [1].

All MPSAs, initially issued to various companies, were held under a joint venture between Australian mining giant BHP Billition and AMCOR (Asiaticus Management Corporation), based on a 60-40% equity split. AMCOR was formed prior by two companies holding MPSA in the regions, Hallmark Mining Corp and Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp [1]. After the exit of BHP, AMCOR bought large parts of their shares.

BHP stated an investment size of 1.5 billion USD [1].

BHP’s corporate activities in the Philippines were financed via the involvement of a series of banks; for more details, with particular focus on German banks, see [8]. Among these were Deutsche Bank (Germany); Barclays Bank (UK), BNP Paribas (France); Bank of America (US); JPMorgan Chase (US); UBS (Switzerland); Citigroup (US); Goldman Sachs (US); Commerzbank (Germany); HSBC (UK) [8].

Most affected by the MPSAs is the Barangay (village) Macambol, with a population of 3,454 people [3].
Project Area (in hectares)17,573
Level of Investment (in USD)1,500,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population3,454 (most directly affected)
Start Date08/07/2004
Company Names or State EnterprisesBHP Billiton (BHP) from Australia
Asiaticus Management Corporation (AMCOR) (AMCOR) from Philippines - mining
Hallmark Mining Corporation from Philippines - mining
Austral-Asia Link Mining Corporation from Philippines - mining
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippine government
International and Financial 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 organisations and other supportersMacambol 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.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
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 MobilizationBlockades
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
OtherPotential heath impacts due to potential pollution of sources of drinking water due to mining spills
Socio-economic 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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesThe 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 as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[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]

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


[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]


[4] www.mining-technology.com 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] BHPBillitonWatch.net: 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] www.investphilippines.info on the supreme court case (accessed 06/04/2015)
[click to view]

Other Documents

MPSAs initially granted in the region Source: [1], see http://www.piplinks.org/system/files/Mining+or+Food+Case+Study+4.pdf
[click to view]

Mining permits Source: [3], see http://bhpbillitonwatch.net/2009/10/21/pujada-hallmark-nickel-laterite-project-profile/
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim.scheidel "at" gmail.com
Last update07/04/2015