Chile > Energy and natural resources: mining
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Energy and natural resources: mining
Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados
Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cia.
- Prieto y Cia
Urrutia & Cia
Vergara y Cia
Baker & McKenzie has a leading practice for M&A transactions, contracts and joint ventures in the mining industry – the firm's global presence being a key asset that allows immediate, local and targeted assistance to foreign companies investing in Chile. The team, which is led by the ‘vastly experienced' Antonio Ortúzar, is also able to handle all stages of multimillion-dollar greenfield and brownfield mining projects, including their acquisition, financing and operation. Highlights included advising Minera Atacama Pacific Gold on its $100m acquisition of the Atacama Gold project to be developed in the Maricunga area. The team assisted Minera Cerro Dominador and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile on their respective agreements with Sierra Gorda SCM on the acquisition of mining concessions in the Sierra Gorda copper-molybdenum project, also in the Atacama Desert and currently at the feasibility-study stage. In the developing silver industry, it advised Endeavour on the negotiation of a purchase option on the La Presidenta silver mine in northern Chile. Concurrently, Castillo Copper entrusted Ortúzar with its $15m acquisition of the mining property Chilon Los Bayos from ten different owners, a complex process that lasted over a year. Diego Ferrada, whose practice is focused on M&A and project financing in the mining and energy industry, was promoted to partnership in July 2011.
At Carey, ‘the level of service of the energy and natural resources group co-headed by
Long known for its mining expertise, Cariola Diez Perez-Cotapos y Cia's highly active practice is in the hands of renowned expert Carlos Pérez-Cotapos; clients hold him in high esteem and laud the complete confidence that he and his team instil. The group advises on high-profile sale-and-acquisition transactions regarding mining companies and assets, and assists its clients with all legal issues, including litigation, permits, water rights and regulatory matters – in connection with the development of their mining projects from initial exploration and construction to operation and expansion. Pérez-Cotapos recently advised Compañía Minera Cordillera on its acquisition of salt mining concessions from Industria Salinera Muffeler & Cia; acted for multi-commodity development company Herencia Resources on its acquisition of Guamanga copper-gold project and South American Gold Corporation; and advised South American Gold Corporation on its acquisition of the Santa Cecilia project in the Atacama region. The highly regarded Gonzalo Grez applies his knowledge of finance and corporate matters to mining transactions.
While smaller than its rivals, the highly regarded Núñez, Muñoz & Cia is considered one of the most capable firms in the mining sector, a reputation reflected by a distinguished client roster that includes the largest global mining companies. Founding partners Patricia Nuñez and Rodrigo Muñoz deliver comprehensive advice to a foreign and domestic clientele on exploration, the financing and development of mining projects, transactions and acquisitions within the mining sector, investment issues and the management of rights under mining law. The firm represented Antofagasta Minerals on a large number of deals, while other representative instructions have come from the Canadian base-metal mining company Capstone, mineral-exploration company Cornerstone, Sociedad Minera El Águila (a local subsidiary of Australia's Hot Chili), and Energía Andina.
The busy team at full-service firm Philippi, Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is comprised of two partners and six associates, including department head Juan Paulo Bambach and environmental specialist Juan José Eyzaguirre. A representative instruction saw the team advise Sumitomo Metal Mining on its acquisition of 45% of the Sierra Gorda project from Quadra FNX Mining. Bambach advised Chilean investment bank Larraín Vial on the creation of an exploration fund aimed at the discovery of all kind of metal mining prospects in Chile and on the organisation of a private equity fund for the bidding process to obtain financing by the Chilean production development corporation CORFO. The team is also advising: Australian company South American Iron & Steel on an exploration project for magnetite and titanium-rich sands in southern Chile; Minera Andes Iron on pre-feasibility study issues including port access, land acquisition, prospecting campaigns and other legal matters related to an iron-ore project; and Cuprum Resources on its acquisition of a copper project in Chile, and subsequent agreements concerning the the project's operation.
Held to be one of the most distinguished mining practitioners in the country and highly esteemed for his involvement in complex M&A and finance deals in the sector, Pablo Mir oversees Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados' mining, energy, and natural resources department. Representative clients include Canadian companies New Gold, Iron Creek, Atacama Minerals and Silver Wheaton and the Brazilian heavyweight Vale.
Highly renowned for its depth of expertise, the mining practice at Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cia. is led by managing partner Francisco Sánchez and also features key practitioner Hugo Prieto, both of whom are able to call upon their vast experience handling general corporate matters. The pair advised Brazilian mining company Vale on the exploration and development of new projects in Chile as well as on its operation of the Tres Valles project. It also assisted Compañía Minera Dayton with operational matters, including the expansion of the Las Loas mine and associated exploitation contracts; and advised Sociedad Contractual Minera Vallenar Iron with the development of the Vallenar project. The practice has, in addition, long worked in the mining service sector and acts as Chilean counsel to leading suppliers of the mining industry, including Bucyrus International, Ludowici and Bridgestone Off-The-Road.
'Very good on all counts', Prieto y Cia has a very strong practice, particularly on acquisition transactions in the mining industry. It delivers a ‘timely, on point and thoughtful' service and is ‘experienced in serving international business clients'. The ‘very knowledgeable' department head Diego Brieba is ‘exceptionally well versed in Chilean business law, finely integrated into the country's legal community and willing to help at all times', Fellow partner Juan Tagle's experience of living in Canada helps with ‘bridging the legal and cultural differences between Latin and North America'. The team is representing Goldcorp in proceedings against Barrick Gold over control of the El Morro copper and gold deposit, following Goldcorp's allegedly illegal acquisition of a 70% interest in the project. In other work the team is advising Tetra Rech on its first acquisition in Latin America, and also handled the negotiations with a local mining entrepreneur, and the drafting and execution of a joint-venture operation, on behalf of Australian mining group Alara Resources, with a view to develop a multi-open pit operation in northern Chile. Other clients include Yamana Gold, Brazilian Gold and Centerra Gold.
Mining remains the core practice at Urrutia & Cia as it has been since the firm's inception 25 years ago, and the team continues to be entrusted with some of the largest projects in the country. José Antonio Urrutia heads the department and is joined, at partner level, by water and mining specialist Enrique Benítez and Gonzalo Nieto, whose expertise includes mining sector disputes. Compañia Minera Nevada instructed the trio on a 3.6bn gold mining project at the Chilean-Argentine border, which involved compliance with the bilateral mining treaty between the two countries, obtaining extraction permits, as well as successfully handling cutting-edge water rights and litigation issues. In other work, it is advising Compañía Minera Cerro Casale on a project to develop one of the world's largest undeveloped gold and copper deposits, and has also acted for Compañia Minera Zaldivar in connection with a copper mine project that, in production since the mid-nineties, recently required approval from the General Water Directorate for the modification of its tailing dams.
Boutique Vergara y Cia is one of the most experienced firms routinely operating in the mining sector. Clients can rely on the team's deep pool of legal talent, with key figures such as team-leader Alejandro Vergara, mining-law specialist Winston Alburquenque, and water law specialist Gonzalo Arévalo. The team advises local and foreign mining companies on the development of projects from exploration to operation, proceedings before courts and administrative bodies, and is also referred work by several corporate and litigation firms on mandates that require its mining expertise. Representative clients include Antofagasta Minerals, the Anglo-Australian multinational BHP Billiton and Japan's Nippon LP Resources.
Carey & Allende is an established presence in the mining sector and fields an experienced nine-strong team with expertise in environmental regulation, water rights and other administrative issues, as well as mining law proper. Deeply experienced founder partner Jorge Allende is a corporate and energy and natural resources specialist who ‘impresses with his commitment'. His considerable knowledge of both the corporate and the technical aspects of mining projects, dovetails with that of his fellow lead partner in this sector Luis Felipe Arze, a corporate finance practitioner with expertise in project finance, structuring and international contracts. Both have extensive knowledge of complex engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contracts. An active year saw Allende led the team advising key client Compañia Minera Can-Can on due diligence and contract negotiations for the acquisition of assets in Diego de Almagro, Maricunga and Bronce de Petorca; as well as advising it on a potential investment in two Canadian listed-companies with mining assets in Chile; and on the acquisition of mining prospects including Botón de Oro, Trinidad, and Amelia, among others. He also advised SC Minera Vilacollo on the development options for a copper project and on a possible IPO; and acted for the Coppen/Von Appen joint venture, Minera Isla Riesco, on the operation of its open cast coal mine. In the mining services sub-sector Arze advised Jacobs Engineering on its EPCM agreement with Arava Mines for the TIMNA copper project located in Israel; and acted for Aker Solutions on its EPCM agreements with both Kinross Gold (concerning its Maricunga Optimization project), and Antofagasta (in relation to Minera Esperanza). The firm also advises Icafal Ingeniería, Worley Parsons, AMEC-CADE, URS and Ausenco.
The energy and natural resources department at Claro y Cia has notable mining capabilities and regularly handles acquisition transactions, project financing issues and environmental impact assessments. Partner-in-charge Nicolás Eyzaguirre was instructed by Compass Minerals (and its subsidiary North American Salt Company), on the acquisition of a mining option relating to a number of exploitation concessions in the Gran Salar area. He advised Compañía Contractual Minera Candelaria on the environmental assessment of its desalinisation plant facilities, designed to provide desalinated seawater to its mining facilities and on the acquisition of maritime concessions for the same plant. Another representative instruction involved handling the acquisition of several mining options for Freeport McMoran and its Chilean subsidiary Minera Aurez.
Rated for its ability to handle a large variety of instructions for high-profile clients, Guerrero, Olivos, Novoa y Errazuriz has extensive experience in assisting companies in the mining industry with joint ventures, acquisitions and financing as well as on operational project matters, including litigation and negotiation before the relevant authorities. The team regularly advises British mining company Anglo American, for which it handled instructions including the acquisitions of Compañía Minera Disputada de Las Condes and Minera Montecristo, as well as the expansion of its Los Bronces project. The team represented Simbalik before the Chilean Nuclear Commission to obtain the authorisation to extract lithium at its project in the Salar de Maricunga, the first lithium licence to be granted since the enactment of the current mining code. It also advised CAP on its joint venture with Mitsubishi for the development, construction and operation of a desalinisation plant in the Atacama region to provide water to two mining ventures owned by Compañía Minera del Pacífico; and acted for International Copper Company on the purchase agreement for the acquisition of a medium-sized copper producer. Arturo Marín heads the team.
Jara, Del Favero y Cía Ltda's seven-partner-strong team has a long history of advising energy and natural resources companies, particularly in the mining sector. The firm recently boosted its practice with the promotion of Felipe Ovalle to the partnership, a practitioner noted for his track record in the financing and structuring of deals in the mining industry, including the Caserones, Algorta Norte and Esperanza projects. The team recently advised Antofagasta on the sale of 30% of its shares in the Antucoya copper mining project to the Japanese trading company Marubeni. Founding partner Gabriel del Favero assisted Algorta Norte with the opening of an iodine-mining project in the Atacama desert, and also advised Minera Lumina Copper Chile on the financing of its Caserones copper mining project by a $1.1bn loan from Japanese governmental financial institutions.