Approval to mine nickel and cobalt (Hallmark Nickel Project) in Davao Oriental, Mindanao, was given by the Philippines government in 2004/05 to a joint venture between BHP Billiton and AMCOR (Asiaticus Management Corp of the Philippines). Two large protected key biodiversity areas could be affected and many local people feared that the mine would also destroy their livelihoods as farmers and fishermen.
In 2008, UK organisation CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development) accused AMCOR of imposing the mine on Philippine villagers by bribing community leaders to agree to it, and stated that BHP Billiton applied insufficient due diligence over its joint venture partner. It also accused the company of giving communities insufficient information about the potential impacts of the project.
In 2009, BHP pulled out of the partnership, selling its forty percent share to AMCOR
Kept in the Dark: Why it’s time for BHP Billiton to let communities in the Philippines have their say
CAFOD Report 2008