Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: Krominco Inc.
Location: Loreto, Dinagat Islands
Area: 757.12 hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Chromite
Mining permit period: 2009-2034



Registration papers not available.



Financial statements not available.



According to the Notice of Issuance of an Order sent to Krominco on Feb. 8, 2017 pertaining to operations under MPSA 291-2009-XIII (SMR), the company has violated certain provisions of:

  • Inadequate maintenance of disturbed slopes;

  • Irregular submission of the Compliance Monitoring and Validation Report;

  • No water permit;

  • Failure to convene on a quarterly basis the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT);

  • Lack of manual of operation for the MMT;

  • Lack of a memorandum of agreement with the MMT; and

  • Lack of a hydrogeological analysis (water balance/groundwater demand-supply analysis), among others.

Field validation by the DENR also found that Krominco’s operations had impaired the functions of the watershed in the area.

The DENR review of the audit report as well as explanations from the company showed that it had violated certain provisions of the following laws, rules, and regulations:

  • RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and its IRR; and

  • PD 1586 or “Establishing an Environmental Impact Statement System including other Environmental Management-related Measures and for other Purposes” and its IRR.

These violations, according to the order, constituted sufficient grounds for the cancellation of the firm’s MPSA.

The full report and/or copy of the DENR order may be viewed here.



PCIJ sent a letter to the company on Feb. 21, 2022 and made follow-ups on March 2 and 24, 2022. We have not received a response as of this writing.



In February 2017, then Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of 23 mines, including Krominco. 

On Nov. 12, 2018, the DENR issued a resolution (1) partially granting the firm’s motion for reconsideration on the 2017 closure order; (2) suspending the operation of the company; and (3) directing the firm to do the following:

a. correct all violations and deficiencies; and

b. pay all fines and penalties immediately upon receipt of the resolution.



Municipality class of mining location: Loreto, Dinagat Islands (4th class)
Population: 9,309 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 36.6% (2015)
Human Development Index: No data available



DENR shuts down 21 mines in wake of an environmental audit



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

Copy of full Mine Audit Reports by company, 2016
Copy of Notices of Issuance of an Order, 2017
Copy of Orders of Cancellation and/or Suspension, 2017

Acronyms used:

RA (Republic Act)
IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations)
PD (Presidential Decree)
DAO (Department Administrative Order)
MPSA (Mineral Production Sharing Agreement)
SDMP (Social Development and Management Plan) 

Disclaimer: The mine audit was conducted in 2016 after Regina “Gina” Paz Lopez assumed the post of environment secretary. The findings in the reports, which authorities sent to the mining firms in 2016, were likely addressed in the succeeding years following a review conducted by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council after the audit led by Lopez, who died in 2019. PCIJ has verified the reports and reached out to each company for comment. We suggest you also confirm findings included in the reports as some information may have changed over time.

The reports come from files that PCIJ has received in connection with various environmental investigations. We are releasing them in full, recognizing the public value of the files to mining communities, miners, policymakers, civil society, and researchers.
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.