Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: Claver Mineral Development Corp.
Location: Claver, Surigao del Norte
Mining area: 433.98 hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Nickel
Nickel production: None reported for 2020 and 2019
Mining permit period: 1998-2023



Incorporation date: Feb. 10, 1995

Ligtas, Jaime Sr. E.
Ligtas, Rodolfo E.
Roliga, Marissa M.
Cortel, Arceli V.
Eslais, Edgardo S.
Eslaez, Allan S.
Miculog, Laura L.
Mayor, Gilbert Romeo K.
Cortel, Margarito V.

Chairperson of the Board: Ligtas, Jaime Sr. E.

Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. used to serve as president of Claver Mineral Development Corp., according to a 2016 Rappler report.

A “Prospero A. Pichay” with a Quezon City address is listed as contact person for Claver Mineral Development Corp. in MGB’s list of mineral production sharing agreements as of Feb. 28, 2021.



Current assets: P34.44 million (2016)
Current liabilities: P1.8 million (2016)
Total revenue: None indicated (2017)
Net income: None indicated (2017)



According to the DENR order, Claver Mineral Development Corp. had violated certain provisions of:

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

  • IRR of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System;

  • Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and its revised IRR;

  • Clean Water Act of 2004 and its IRR;

  • Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines;

  • Regulations governing the measurement, assessment and payment of forest charges on timber and other forest products;

  • Uniform replacement ratio for cut and relocated trees;

  • Mine Safety and Health Standards; and

  • Department order Mandating Mining Contractors to Secure ISO 140001 Certification.

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



PCIJ sent a letter to the company on Feb. 15, 2022. We have not received a response as of this writing.



In February 2017, former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of Claver Mineral Development Corp. and 22 other mines.

On Nov. 12, 2018, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the permanent closure of Claver Mineral Development Corp. and Oriental Synergy Mining Corp. for non-compliance with environmental laws. The DENR also denied the application for a mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) of Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp.

Claver Mineral Development Corp.’s MPSA was “cancelled with motion for reconsideration,” according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s list of MPSAs as of Feb. 28, 2021.



Municipality class of mining location: Claver, Surigao del Norte (2nd class)
Population: 32,773 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 34.28% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.51 (2012, provincial)
Indigenous peoples in the area living near the mining area: Mamanwa



Barbers files ethics complaint vs Pichay for illegal mining, disorderly conduct
Mine closures, suspensions affirmed



General Information Sheet, 2020
Financial Statement, 2017
List of existing Mineral Production Sharing Agreements, Mining and Geosciences Bureau
Philippine Metallic Mineral Production, Mines and Geosciences Burea
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.