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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].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shenzhou Mining / Claver Mineral Development Corporation Nickel mining in Claver, Philippines
State or province:Province of Surigao del Norte
Location of conflict:Barangay 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 :Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Land acquisition conflicts
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Nickel ore
Rare metals
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Claver 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].

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Project area:433.9798
Level of Investment:200,000,000 (Shenzhou's mining operations)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:23,700 (population of Claver municipality)
Start of the conflict:23/02/1998
Company names or state enterprises:Claver 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 actors:Environmental 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 Finance InstitutionsCinda International Holding Ltd. from Hong Kong SAR, China - investment, finance
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Tribal 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
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
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 mobilization:Blockades
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
Impacts of the project
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
Other Health impactsExposure to toxic heavy metals
Socio-economical 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
Other socio-economic impactsoutstanding royalties to be paid to the indigenous tribes for operating on their ancestral lands
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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

Philippine Mining Act of 1995
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[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]

[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]

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

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim"dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update06/05/2015
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