Shenzhou Mining / Claver Mineral Development Corporation Nickel mining in Claver, Philippines

Few royalties, few local jobs, but large environmental destruction: that’s what nickel company Shenzhou Mining Corporation brought to the indigenous communities of Claver, Surigao del Norte.


Chinese Shenzhou Mining Corporation was one of the nickel mining companies active in the region surrounding Claver, Surigao del Norte. During 2009-2013, it was the operating company of the 433.9798ha Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), held by Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) since 1998. The company, as well as others active in the area, caused large environmental destruction within the ancestral domains of the indigenous Mamanwa and Manobo tribes [1;2].

See more...
Basic Data
NameShenzhou Mining / Claver Mineral Development Corporation Nickel mining in Claver, Philippines
ProvinceProvince of Surigao del Norte
SiteBarangay Cagdianao, Claver 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
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesNickel ore
Rare metals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsClaver Mineral Development Corporation CMDC holds a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) No 103-98-XIII(SMR), granted by the Mineral and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) on February 23, 1998. The MPSA covers an exploration area of 433.9798ha, located in Claver, Surigao del Norte [2].

The company Shenzhou Mining Group Corporation was the operating company of the mining concession held by Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) [2]. The operating agreement was set in July 2009 and Shenzhou was supposed to pay to CMDC a 5% royalty share of the gross sales of ores sold or shipped by the company. Payment would start after the 25th shipment of ore; however Shenzhou failed to do so [3]. The company states to have investment more than 200 million USD in their mining operations (Shenzhou is also involved in other mineral explorations in the Philippines) [6].

Shenzhou’s shipping quantity for 2011 was reported to amount to 1.9 million tons of Nickel ore, shipped to China, worth 1.09 billion Philippine Pesos (around 24,6 million USD) [2]. During the three years of operation, the company reported to have shipped around 4 million tons of Nickel Ore to China [6].

On July 9th, 2014, CCIL Mining and Mineral Resources (CCILMMRC) signed a joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Claver Mineral and Development Corporation (CMDC) as the operator for their MPSA. Mineable reserves were reported to amount to 15 million tons [7].

CCIL Mining and Mineral Resources Corporation (CCILMMRC) is a subsidiary of Hong Kong based CCIL Mining and Mineral Resources Limited (CCILMMRL) Hong Kong , which is a subsidiary of Classic Centre International Limited (CCI). CCI partners with Cinda International Holding Ltd., a Hong Kong-based financial institution [7].

The Mamanwas hold a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims, nr, CADT-048, covering 48,870ha, comprising the towns of Claver, Gigaquit, Bacuag, Tubod and Alegria. In 2013, the CADT was subject to tensions with other indigenous groups (Manobo) who also claimed the land title and associated royalties [8].

According to the 2010 population census, Claver municipality has a population of 23,702 persons, which may serve as a rough estimate of people negatively affected by environmental destruction [9].
Project Area (in hectares)433.9798
Level of Investment (in USD)200,000,000 (Shenzhou's mining operations)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population23,700 (population of Claver municipality)
Start Date23/02/1998
Company Names or State EnterprisesClaver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) from Philippines - mining
Philippines Shenzhou Mining Group Corporation from Philippines - mining
Shenzhou International Holdings Limited from Hong Kong SAR, China - mining
CCIL Mining and Mineral Resources (CCILMMRC) (CCILMMRC) from Philippines - mining
CCIL Mining and Mineral Resources Limited (CCILMMRL) (CCILMMRL) from Hong Kong SAR, China - mining
Classic Centre International Limited (CCI) (CCI) from Hong Kong SAR, China - mining
Relevant government actorsEnvironmental Management Bureau in Region XIII;

The provincial government of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
International and Financial InstitutionsCinda International Holding Ltd. from Hong Kong SAR, China - investment, finance
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTribal Coalition of Mindanao(TRICOM); Daging Manobo Sectoral Tribal Council; Urbistondo Manobo-Mamanwa Sectoral Tribal Council; Kinalablaban Sectoral Tribal Coucil; Cabangahan Tribal Community-Manobo Tribe; Victoriano C. Vidal and Datu Willy Daging
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
indigenous Mamanwa tribe, Manobo tribe
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Threats to use arms
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), 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, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
OtherExposure to toxic heavy metals
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Otheroutstanding royalties to be paid to the indigenous tribes for operating on their ancestral lands
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Project cancelled
Project temporarily suspended
Entry of new mining firm to continue the exploitation
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.During the operation of the MPSA by Shenzhou Corporation, the indigenous tribes wanted the company to pay outstanding royalties but also to leave the area. This was finally achieved through intervention of the regional court. However, recently a new mining firm has entered a joint venture agreement with the MPSA holder Claver Mining Development corporation to continue ore exploration.
Sources and Materials

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

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]


[3] PIPLINKS online (14/05/2012): "Tension grips Red Mountain anew as Mamanwas take over minesite" (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[6] Shenzhou Company website (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[1] ABS-CBN news online (05/30/2011): "Surigao tribesmen seek writ of kalikasan" (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[2] ABS-CBN news online (22/07/2012): "MGB orders suspension of mining operations of Chinese nickel miner " (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[7] CCIL Mining and Mineral Resources (CCILMMRC) Company website (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[5] MindaNews online (05/08/2013): "Court orders mining firm to vacate area" (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[8] MindaNews online (22/10/2013): "Mamanwa leaders nix Manobo ancestral domain claim in Surigao Norte" (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[9] Philippine Population Census as of 2010 (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

[4] MindaNews online (12/05/2012): "Mamanwas want mining firm out of Surigao" (accessed 29/04/2015)
[click to view]

Media Links

Short video showing the area
[click to view]

Other Documents

Nickel Mine Source:
[click to view]

Open pit Source:
[click to view]

private security forces Source:
[click to view]

Claver Mining Corporation's MPSA (red line) Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim"dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update06/05/2015