Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: Eramen Minerals Inc.
Location: Sta. Cruz and Candelaria, Zambales
Mining area: 4,619.69 hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Nickel ore
Mine production: None reported for 2020 and 2019
Mining permit period: 2005-2030



Incorporation date: Sept. 4, 2002

Eramen Holdings Corp.
Fernandez, Enrique C.
Reyes, Oscar S.
Disini, Artemio F.
Dominguez, Leo G.

Chairperson of the Board: Fernandez, Enrique C.



Current assets: P651.55 million (2018)
Current liabilities: P221.96 million (2018)
Total revenue: P860.35 million (2018)
Revenue from sale of nickel ore: P860.35 million (2018)
Net income: P106.88 million (2018)



Eramen’s mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) is suspended, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s list of MPSAs as of Feb. 28, 2021.

On Feb. 8, 2017, the DENR cancelled the company’s permit for supposedly violating provisions of the following:

● Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 and its implementing rules and regulations;
● Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and its amending Rule IX;
● Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and its implementing rules and regulations; and
● Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

In its appeal with the Office of the President, Eramen addressed the issues raised by DENR, claiming, among others, that the “non-issuance of the tree-cutting permit is the fault of the DENR as they failed to act on the various permits applied by the company” and that its mining operation “has not adversely impaired the functions of the watershed in the area based on a one-year scientific study conducted by UP NIGS (the University of the Philippines’s National Institute of Geological Sciences).”

The company also argued that the DENR violated the terms and conditions of the MPSA when it did not resort to arbitration before cancelling the agreement. Prior to the 2017 closure order, the DENR in 2014 directed the company to suspend its hauling operations until certain conditions were met.

In 2016, concerned citizens of Sta. Cruz, Zambales filed a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan, an injunction, against five mining firms including Eramen. The Supreme Court granted the petition. But after petitions before the Court of Appeals, the provisional Writ of Kalikasan issued by the high court was lifted.



Municipality class of mining location: Sta. Cruz, Zambales (1st class)
Population: 58,151 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 23.7% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.53 (2012, provincial)
Municipality class of mining location: Candelaria, Zambales (3rd class)
Population: 27,174 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 20.54% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.53 (2012, provincial)



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General Information Sheet, 2020
Financial Statement, 2018
List of existing Mineral Production Sharing Agreements, Mining and Geosciences Bureau
Philippine Metallic Mineral Production, Mines and Geosciences Bureau
Poverty and socioeconomic indicators, Philippines Statistics Authority


Note: The Human Development Index is a measure of how well a country has performed, not only in terms of real income growth, but also in terms of social indicators that measure people's ability to lead a long and healthy life, acquire knowledge and skills, and have access to the resources needed to afford a decent standard of living. An HDI value below 0.550 is considered low and below 0.399 is very low. The national average for the Philippines is 0.718 as of 2020.

This article was produced with the support of Internews' Earth Journalism Network.