Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: Carrascal Nickel Corp.
Location: Carrascal, Surigao del Norte
Mining area: 4,547.76 hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Nickel
Nickel production (2020): 2,433,734 dry metric tons (direct shipping ore) valued at P2,867,484,933
Mining permit period: 2007-2032



Incorporation date: Oct. 9, 2006
Hongkong Zhengheng Trading
Jiang Qingyuan
Zheng Xipin
Zillion Holdings Corp.
Co, Antonio L.
Chan C. Bros, Inc.
Jefco Asia Holdings, Inc.
Co, Peter John T.
Chan Kiong Ki See
Good Gain Holdings Corp.

Chairperson of the Board: Jiang Qingyuan



Current assets: P368.24 million (2019)
Current liabilities: P654.67 million (2019)
Net sale of beneficiated nickel ore: P2.05 billion (2019)
Net income: P92.8 million (2019)



The audit found that CNC had violated mining and environmental laws, including (a) non-compliance with Conditions l, 4e and 14 of the ECC; and (b) siltation of the coastal waters fronting the causeway caused by the spillage of ore during loading and of the Kawaywayan Cove, among others.      

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



PCIJ sent a letter to the company on Feb. 14, 2022 and made follow-ups on March 2 and 24, 2022. We have not received a response as of this writing.



Three of the mining companies in Gina Lopez’s 2017 closure order are in Surigao del Sur, namely CTP Construction and Mining Corp., Carrascal Nickel Corp., and Marcventures Mining and Development Corp.

Carrascal Nickel Corp. operates CTP’s MPSA with number 243-2007-XIII (SMR). Carrascal Nickel Corp.’s motion for reconsideration was granted by DENR, which lifted the suspension of its mining operations in 2019.



Municipality class of mining location: Carrascal, Surigao del Sur (4th class)
Population: 22,479 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 35.56% (2016)
Human Development Index: 0.55 (2012, provincial)
Indigenous peoples living within or near the mining location: Manobo



15 mining firms in Caraga suspended by Lopez allowed to operate again
14 mining firms still operating despite suspension order



General Information Sheet, 2020
Financial Statement, 2019
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.