Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?


Name of mining firm: Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.
Location: Sta. Cruz and Candelaria, Zambales
Mining area: 3,765.38 hectares
Metals extracted/mine products: Nickel ore
Nickel production (2020): 354,039 dry metric tons (direct shipping ore) valued at P770,431,279
Mining permit period: 2004-2029



Incorporation date: Sept. 14, 2007

DMCI Mining Corp.
Simbulan, Cesar Jr. F.
Consunji, Isidro J.
Reyes, Tulsi Das C.
Consunji, Jorge A.

Chairperson of the Board: Consunji, Isidro J.

Zambales Diversified Metals is a subsidiary of DMCI Mining Corp., owned by DMCI Holdings of the Consunji family. 



Current assets: P418.99 million (2019)
Current liabilities: P1.54 billion (2019)
Total revenue: P289.35 million (2019)
Revenue from sale of nickel ore: P282.43 million (2019)
Net income: P99.81 million (2019)



According to the Notice of Issuance of an Order sent to the company on Feb. 8, 2017 pertaining to operations under MPSA 191-2004-III, the company’s operations were suspended on July 7, 2016, along with that of BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., because of issues arising from tree-cutting and earth-balling operations and for not depositing the full amount of the Final Mine Rehabilitation Decommissioning Fund, among others.

DENR’s audit conducted on Aug. 12-13, 2016 showed that the company had violated several mining and environmental laws, such as:

  • failure to submit the quarterly status report on the work program;

  • failure to fully conduct the required emergency drills;

  • lack of discharge permits for the pollution source and control facilities of the processing plant;

  • lack of permit to operate of the facilities;

  • unsafe stockpiling of hazardous wastes;

  • lack of discharge permit for the settling ponds; 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. 21, 2022 and made follow-ups on March 24, 2022. We have not received a response as of this writing.



On Feb. 8, 2017, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued an order cancelling the company’s mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA). This was based on the suspension order imposed on the company on July 17, 2016, the findings of a DENR audit, and other alleged violations of laws and regulations.

The company filed a motion for reconsideration on March 2, 2017 and a notice of appeal with the Office of the President on March 31, 2017.

On Aug. 11, 2017, the Office of the President ordered the company to post a surety bond amounting to P5 million in favor of the DENR, as guarantee that the company would put up a trust fund in case the courts allowed it as a valid condition for the issuance of a permit.[1] 

On Nov. 12, 2018, the DENR resolved the company’s motion for reconsideration. It modified the earlier order to cancel the MPSA, suspending instead the company’s mine production and shipment of ores subject to corrective measures. The company was also ordered to correct all violations and deficiencies (under an action plan) and pay all fines and penalties immediately.

The company submitted a detailed action plan to the DENR on Nov. 27, 2018. The plan was evaluated, reviewed and approved on Nov. 28.

On Sept. 30, 2019, the DENR granted the company's motion for reconsideration and lifted the suspension of mining operations.



Municipality class of mining location: Sta. Cruz, Zambales (1st class)
Population: 58,151 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 23.7% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.53 (2012, provincial)
Municipality class of mining location: Candelaria, Zambales (3rd class)
Population: 27,174 (2015)
Poverty incidence rate: 20.54% (2015)
Human Development Index: 0.53 (2012, provincial)



Philippines lifts suspension on nickel-miner Zambales Diversified
2 Zambales mining firms suspended
CA junks environment protection plea vs Zambales mining firms



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.