A spectacular recovery in commodity prices has brought with it a reemergence of activity across the mining and metals industry.
Growth is now back on the agenda, particularly across base and precious metals, fertilisers and minerals feeding into the battery supply chain (lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper).
Battery metals are a hot topic, with surging demand predicted into 2020 and beyond–the result of the electric vehicle revolution and applications in grid storage. Manufacturers of battery cells and carmakers are scrambling to secure long-term supply of the necessary raw materials.
And with balance sheets of the majors and mid-caps largely repaired, the industry is poised to take advantage of the emerging opportunities.
But the "supercycle" has not returned.
Now, the focus is on true growth investments (portfolio upgrades, strategic acquisitions and prudent greenfield developments) and most by way of structured financings (project financings, royalty/stream financings, earn-ins, structured M&A, earn-outs and public M&A).
And every deal must be carefully structured and highly bespoke to the asset, commodity, geography and investors involved, to provide protection and flexibility through the volatile mining commodities cycle.
Industry customers and investors are also increasingly insisting on sustainable supply chain sourcing and transparency as a condition of transacting.
Meanwhile, uncertainty continues around the direction of China and the impacts of Trump and Brexit. And swings in resource nationalism, as well as environmental and shareholder activism, are all in motion.
Our metals and mining lawyers work exclusively on deals in the mining and metals industry and have done for decades, at White & Case and in-house at major, mid-cap and junior mining companies.
We understand the twists and turns of the sector. We know and track those involved, the assets, the market trends and commodity fundamentals. And we understand the technical side of the business, the underlying chemistry and geology and how mining works operationally, from pit-to-port.
Our global mining and metals team is shaped and reshaped to meet the needs of the industry. This means we can advise clients on their activities at all points in the cycle and bring an industry-focused approach to each transaction.
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AWARDS & RECOGNITION
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Vale and Mitsui's development and US$2.73 billion financing of Nacala
Major Brazilian miner and Japanese trading house in its landmark port and rail infrastructure in Mozambique and Malawi linking up the Moatize coal mine.
Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée expansion financing
Lenders (BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, IFC, ING, Natixis, OPIC, Societe Generale and two Guinean banks, with the commercial bank tranche being covered by UFK) on the multi-million dollar financing of the CBG Sangaredi bauxite mine expansion in the Republic of Guinea.
Pallinghurst's £211 million hostile takeover of Gemfields
Mining company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on its hostile takeover offer for Gemfields plc, an AIM listed company.
Arete Capital Partners acquisition of Stawell
Mining private equity firm on its acquisition of the Stawell gold mine from Canadian miner Kirkland Lake Gold.
En+ US$1.5 billion IPO
Russian commodities company on the offering of global depositary receipts admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange and the Moscow Exchange.
MMG-led consortium's US$7+ billion acquisition and financing of Las Bambas
Chinese consortium's acquisition and financing of the Peruvian copper asset from Glencore PLC.
Gabriel Resources arbitration against Romania
Canadian miner on its filing for arbitration against Romania in the stalled development of its majority owned Rosia Montana gold project.
Essar Steel chapter 11
Global steel company on its chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the United States.
Eurofer steel protections
European Steel Association on anti-dumping/trade issues in the steel market–fundamental to the survival of the European steel sector.
Kazakhstan's subsoil use legislation
Kazakhstan's Ministry for Investments and Development in drafting the new subsoil use framework.