Mining Ombudsman case report: Didipio gold and copper mine

Mining Ombudsman case report: Didipio gold and copper mine

Failing to obtain community consent in the mining industry: a case study of the Didipio mining project

This Mining Ombudsman case report examines problems with community involvement in the Australian-owned Didipio mining project based in the Philippines. It follows a request by Didipo community members (Philippines) for the Mining Ombudsman to take up this case.

As the report highlights, OceanaGold failed to obtain community consent before starting mining development. Obtaining consent would be consistent with national Filipino law, international law and good business practice. Community members assert that OceanaGold has used means to try to secure approval and access to their lands without proper community engagement.

The reports key recommendations to OceanaGold include:

  • the company must ensure its employees do not partake in corrupt practices, or engage in actions that involve intimidation, violence or threats of violence
  • it must cease the Surface Rights Acquisition process, which community members find harassing and intimidating
  • the company must respect the authority of the current Didipio Barangay Council and the community to approve or reject the proposed mine
  • it must also provide communities with the opportunity to give or deny their free, prior and informed consent consistent with forms of decision-making acceptable to the community.