Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. Inc.
Location: Itogon, Benguet
Mining area: 1,829.36  hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Gold, copper
Mineral production (2020): 414 kilograms of gold valued at P1,188,355,358; 1,338 kilograms of silver valued at P46,409,045; and 2,173 dry metric tons of copper concentrate valued at P42,246,089
Mining permit period: 2000-2025
Total manpower complement: 1,832 mine-based; 61 Makati-based



Incorporation date: Sept. 8, 1936
Stock market listing date: April 30, 1947
Total public ownership: 84.64%
No. of stockholders: 27,252
Chairperson of the Board: Yap, Felipe U.



Current assets: P1.84 billion
Current liabilities: P1.99 billion
Total revenue: P2.05 billion
Revenue from sale of gold and silver bullions: P435.37 million
Net income: -P1.03 billion



According to the mine audit report, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. should be ordered to show cause why its operation should not be stopped due to its violations of RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) and RA 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act).

Specifically, the company was found operating a Controlled Disposal Facility and burning solid wastes, which are prohibited under DAO 2001-34, the IRR of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Lepanto also maintains or stores toxic and hazardous materials without accredited treatment, storage, and disposal, which is mandatory under the provisions of the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act.      

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



PCIJ sent a letter to the company on Feb. 10, 2022 and made follow-ups on March 2 and 24, 2022. We have not received a response as of this writing.



Despite Secretary Gina Lopez’s closure order, Benguet Corp. continued operations after filing an appeal with the Office of the President. Read PCIJ’s full story here.



Municipality class of mining location: Mankayan, Benguet (1st class)
Population: 35,953 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 9.3% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.88 (2012, provincial)
Indigenous peoples living within or near the mining location: Teeng di Mankayan



Philippine mines continue unhampered 4 years after Gina’s shutdown order
Lopez suspends, closes several mines in environment crackdown
Lepanto defends mining operations in Benguet



Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company financial statement (2019)
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company annual report (2020)
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.