Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: OceanaGold Phils. Inc.
Location: Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces
Mining area: 9,238 hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Gold, copper
Gold production (2019): 2,651 kilograms valued at P5,951,556,739
Mining permit period: 1994-2019



Incorporation date: July 24, 1996

Oceanagold (Philippines) Holdings Inc.
Holmes, Micheal Harvy Lou
Adaci-Cattiling, Joan D.
Way, David James
Flynn, Sharon Ann
Magdaong, Jason N.
Chairperson of the Board: Holmes, Micheal Harvy Lou



Current assets: P59.91 million (2019)
Current liabilities: P95.36 million (2019)
Net sales: P121.22 million (2019)
Net income: -P10.95 million (2019)



PCIJ did not get access to the full audit report on OceanaGold’s operations in Didipio.



PCIJ sent a letter to the company on March 4, 2022 and made follow-ups on March 24, 2022. We have not received a response as of this writing.



OceanaGold’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) expired on June 20, 2019. It filed a renewal application on Oct. 1, 2018. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) forwarded the application to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on April 30, 2019. The DENR endorsed the application to the Office of the President.

On June 19, 2019, the Office of the President returned the application because it lacked the consent of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. 

On June 20, 2019, the MGB issued a letter to the DENR permitting Oceanagold to continue its mining operations pending the confirmation of its FTAA.

On the day of the FTAA expiry, the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya issued a directive calling on local officials to “restrain any operations” by OceanaGold. This prompted OceanaGold to file court cases against the provincial government, including an injunction against a barricade. 

The regional court rejected OceanaGold’s request for an injunction, forcing the mining giant to take the ruling to the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals dismissed OceanaGold's appeal to allow it to continue operating after its permit expired in June 2019.



Municipality class of mining location: Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya (3rd class)
Population: 37,705 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 17.8% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.66 (2012, provincial)
Indigenous peoples living within or near the mining location: Ifugao



Environment group hits Oceanagold for operating without gov't contract
DENR gives OceanaGold mining operation permit
Philippine court rejects OceanaGold’s bid to keep mining on expired permit 



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.