Mining & Metals

About

A groundswell of mining & metals experts with an industry-focused approach

Real industry expertise is our bedrock. At our core are lawyers, recognised as industry leaders in their own right, who work exclusively on deals in the mining sector and have done for decades, including in-house at major, mid-cap and junior mining companies. Our team does not just scratch the surface—we know and deeply understand the macro-economic, geo-political and regional risks and opportunities most relevant to your business. Not only do we understand the twists and turns of the sector, but we also anticipate its needs—because we have seen it all before.
We also know and track the players, assets, 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. In essence, we speak the right language.

Completely comfortable advising at all points in the mining & metals cycle

We understand that as the sector moves, our team needs to change with it. So we are nimble.

Our team is shaped and reshaped to meet the needs of the industry. We can do this because we have dedicated mining lawyers who can bring in experts across legal practices as needed. This means that we can deliver a team of lawyers who can seamlessly advise on the technical aspects of the transaction while keeping an eye on the industry.

A truly global team

We are one of the only truly international mining & metals law firms, with lawyers who are either native to or fully integrated into the regions in which they are based. We are ranked a Tier 1 Mining & Minerals practice by The Legal 500 2020.

We are the only firm with dedicated mining & metals partners and associates across EMEA, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. From a single point of contact, our clients draw on this global network, covering every relevant legal discipline and with stand-out practices in project development and financing, arbitration, trade, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, capital markets, restructuring, competition, anti-bribery, sanctions and disputes. And with opportunities for growth presenting themselves in different pockets across the globe, our reach is becoming even more important. It means we can quickly pull together a cross-border team of lawyers who regularly work together, led from a location that makes sense to the locus of the deal, and each time with an industry expert at the helm.

This experience, when combined with our long-standing connections with industry, government and local counsel, is such that no other law firm is better positioned to provide guidance on the issues affecting your business interests across the globe, helping you make commercial and risk decisions that drive profitability and reputation across the entire mining & metals value chain.

So wherever you do business, we can make sure the right team is with you.

Environment, social and governance (ESG)

ESG is becoming increasingly important in board-level decision-making, particularly when it comes to investment and finance. Incorporating ESG risks and benefits into corporate strategies can help mining companies enjoy the benefits of technology, diversity and sustainability while building resilience and agility against future challenges. For investors, lenders, governments and communities too, ESG considerations are now central to the sector's standing and success.

We are committed to making improvements to the issues that are central to the industry and its future. We recently acted pro bono on the advisory panel for the new Global Tailings Standard with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), established after the Brumadinho tailings storage facility disaster in Brazil. We also advised the Global Battery Alliance, a World Economic Forum initiative, which aims to create a responsible global supply of batteries throughout the entire value chain.

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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

An award-winning team of Mining & Metals industry experts with strengths in the areas that matter most to your industry:

'Seamless advice across all disciplines and geographies, which is always underpinned by a deep understanding of the industry.'
Chambers Energy & Natural Resources: Mining UK 2021

'Deep knowledge of the sector combined with practical advice.'
The Legal 500 Mining & Minerals 2021

Project Development and Finance
'Project Finance Group of the Year' 2020
Law360

International Arbitration
International Arbitration Group of the Year
Law360 2020

M&A
#1 for Global Cross-Border M&A by value
Bloomberg 2020

Tier 1: Emerging Markets
The Legal 500 UK 2020

Best Law Firm in Africa
EMEA Finance Awards, 2013-2020

Most #1 Practice Rankings in Latin America
Chambers and The Legal 500 2020

 

DEALS OF THE YEAR

Mining Deal of the Year, North America – Nevada Copper's Pumpkin Hollow
IJGlobal 2020

Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year: Nacala
The Lawyer Awards 2018

Awarded Mining Deal of the Year, Africa
CBG Expansion Financing, IJ Global 2016

Experience

CORPORATE/M&A

Newmont
Representation of Newmont Mining Corporation, a leading gold and copper producer with operations primarily in the United States, Australia, Ghana, Peru and Suriname, in connection with its US$10 billion acquisition of Goldcorp Inc., a senior gold producer engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, operation and reclamation of precious metal properties in Canada, the US, Mexico and Central and South America. Also represented Newmont in connection with exchange offers of Newmont senior notes for Goldcorp senior notes.

Grupo Mineros
Representation of Grupo Mineros S.A. on their acquisition of 100% of the producing Gualcamayo gold mine in Argentina.

Las Bambas
Representation of MMG Limited and the MMG-led consortium including Guoxin International Investment Corporation Limited (22.5%) and CITIC Metal Peru Investment Limited (15%) on the US$7 billion acquisition of the Las Bambas copper project and associated infrastructure in Peru from Glencore plc. This deal won "2015 Energy & Resources Deal of the Year" by ALB China Law, "2014 Global M&A Deal of the Year, Latin America/Peru" by American Lawyer, "2014 Deal of the Year" by China Business Law Journal and "2014 M&A Deal of the Year" by Latin Lawyer.

Norilsk Nickel
Representation of Norilsk Nickel on the US$337 million sale of its operations in Africa to BCL Limited of Botswana. The sale included Norilsk Nickel's 50% participation interest in the Nkomati Nickel and Chrome Mine in South Africa, the largest primary nickel and chrome mine in Africa, and 85% stake in Tati Nickel Mining Company in Botswana; and also involved the complete renegotiation of the nickel concentrate and matte supply chains emanating from the mines.

Pallinghurst
Representation of Pallinghurst Resources on its £211 million unsolicited takeover of Gemfields Plc. This deal was shortlisted in the 2017 British Legal Awards for M&A Team of the Year.

 

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT & FINANCE

Vale: Nacala Corridor Project
Representation of Vale SA regarding the US$4 billion multi-source project financing of the Nacala Corridor Project in Mozambique. The project includes the construction of a 900 km rail line and the rehabilitation of the existing line, which will connect the railway line and the port, and the construction of a new coal port terminal.

CBG
Representation of the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG) lenders (Natixis, BNPP, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, ING, IFC and OPIC) on the approximately US$700 million expansion financing of the CBG bauxite project in the Republic of Guinea, one of the largest Africa mining financings in 2016. The transaction involves a large UFK-covered tranche. This deal won "2016 African Mining Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal.

SNIM
Representation of Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM) of Mauritania in relation to theUS$710 million multi-sourced financing for the expansion of the Guelb II mine and the construction of a new ore carrier port in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. This matter was awarded Deal of the Year by Trade Finance Magazine.

Vanádio de Maracás
Representation of Banco Itaú BBA, Banco Bradesco and Banco Votorantim in connection with a US$169 million loan facility provided to Largo Resources Ltd. for the financing of a vanadium production mine (Vanádio de Maracás) located in Brazil. This transaction was selected as "2012 Latin American Mining & Metals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance Magazine.

Kelar Gas – mining infrastructure
Representation of KEXIM and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Natixis, New York Branch and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Lenders, in connection with the senior project financing for Kelar S.A, the borrower. The project represented the first Chilean investment for Samsung C & T and KOSPO and represented KEXIM's first significant project financing in Chile. The project also involved an innovative build-own-operate-and-maintain structure that was being financed for the first time in Chile. The successful close of this novel financing demonstrates our ability both to utilize our significant project finance experience in Latin America to assist newcomers to the region and to find creative financing solutions to new project structures.

 

DISPUTES

International arbitration

Gabriel Resources
Representation of Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources as claimant in a US$4+ billion ICSID arbitration against Romania under applicable BITs concerning Romania's de facto expropriation of Gabriel's rights to and sizable investments in the Rosia Montana gold mining project in Romania. The project encompassed one of the largest gold deposits in the world.

Gold Reserve
Representation of Gold Reserve, a publicly listed Canadian mining company, in a long-running US$2+ billion ICSID arbitration against Venezuela under the Canada-Venezuela Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), relating to the expropriation of the Brisas Project, one of the world's largest undeveloped gold/copper mines

Israel Chemicals Ltd.
Representation, as co-counsel, of Israel Chemicals Ltd. in its US$200 million UNCITRAL rules investment treaty arbitration against Ethiopia under the Netherlands-Ethiopia bilateral investment treaty. ICL's claims relate to the unlawful regulatory treatment of its investment by Ethiopia in relation to ICL's investment in a potash mine project in the in the Dallol Depression located in the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia.

Litigation

MMG
Representation of MMG in relation to a claim under the tax indemnity provisions of the Share Purchase Agreement for the purchase of the Las Bambas Copper Project in Peru. This matter includes issues in relation to the operation of tax indemnity provisions under English Law share sale agreement and the interface of those provisions with the timing of accrual of tax liabilities under Peruvian law.

Mining privatization in Africa
Representing a joint-venture special-purpose vehicle (on behalf of a major international metals conglomerate) in a contract dispute with other shareholders concerning the repayment of funds subsequent to a mining privatization in Africa.

MC Mining Limited
Representation of MC Mining Limited (a company listed on three exchanges) in relation to the development of the Makhado mining project in South Africa, arguably the most significant coal development projects in the country.

 

CAPITAL MARKETS

Debt capital markets

Largo
Representation of Jefferies LLC in a senior secured notes offering of US$150 million of Largo Resources Ltd. Largo operates the Maracas Menchen Mine located in Bahia, Brazil, where it mines and produces vanadium pentoxide.

Taseko Mines
Representation of the initial purchasers, led by Jefferies LLC, in an offering of US$250 million in aggregate principal amount of 8.750% senior secured notes due 2022 of Taseko Mines Ltd., a Canadian copper company. Taseko operates the Gibraltar Mine, the second-largest open pit copper-molybdenum mine in Canada. Taseko is a public company, listed on the TSX and the NYSE MKT.

Conuma
Conuma Coal Resources Limited on its debut issuance of US$200 million senior secured notes.

Equity capital markets

Kazatomprom
Representation of the Global Coordinators and the Joint Bookrunners on the successful listing of NAC Kazatomprom on the London Stock Exchange. The IPO raised US$450 million and attributed a market capital of US$3 billion to JSC NAC Kazatomprom

Vale follow-on equity offering
Representation of Credit Suisse, as lead manager and global coordinator, in one of the largest-ever equity offerings by a Latin American issuer: the R$21 billion (US$12.7 billion) follow-on equity offering by Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. on the São Paulo Stock Exchange, the NYSE and Euronext Paris.

Largo Resources
Representation of Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as underwriters on Rule 144A/Regulation S CAD$97 million common stock offering by shareholders of Largo Resources, a Canadian mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.