Falcondo, an Xstrata subsidiary in the Dominican Republic, is accused of undervaluing the average price of nickel extracted from their Loma Peguera and Loma Ortega mine sites and failing to report their use of other metals, like iron and cobalt that make up their ferronickel alloy, thus dodging around $100 million in tax dollars owed to the Dominican Republic since 20071. A public complaint against Falcondo was filed in February 20132.
Dominican Republic state officials halted another Xstrata mining project at the Loma Miranda site in June 2013 over environmental concerns3.
The Loma Miranda nickel mine is likely to expand despite local opposition. Local people attempted to create a national park in the area to stop the expansion of the mine. The national park was aproved by the Senate4 but the Dominican president vetoed the creation of the park. This has fuelled protests and increased local opposition to the project. The Loma Miranda is a critical water basin for the area and locals are concerned about availability should the mine continue5.
Update January 2015:
In January 2015, protesters had established permanent camps at the base of Loma Miranda. They said they were determined to protect what they call one of the country´s most important mountain systems for water supply. They criticized that the government was “in service of international corporations” and condemned this “new form of colonialism”.6
- Dominican Today (2013): Xstrata Nickel denies US$100M tax dodge at Dominican mine, 26 February, accessed 3.9.2013 [↩]
- Letter to the Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, 15.2.2013 [↩]
- Acento.com (2013): Es oficial: Gobierno dominicano dice no a explotación de Loma Miranda, 3 June, accessed 3.9.2013 [↩]
- Faries, B. (2014): Glencore Mine in Doubt After Dominican Park Bill Passes; 28 August (accessed 30.09.2014) [↩]
- TelesurTV (2014): Loma Miranda Defense Movement’s Leader Meets Dominican Police; 9 September (accessed 30. 09.2014) [↩]
- AlJazeera America (2015): Dominican activists decry mining projects as ‘new form of colonialism’; 28 January (accessed 24.02.2015) [↩]