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Chile > Energy and natural resources > Mining > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Energy and natural resources: mining
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Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie Chile is highly rated for its assistance to mining companies on transactional, regulatory and operational matters. The team advised Redpath Mining on the review of its agreements with SCM for services in the Teniente Mine; and acted for Rockwood Litio on its expansion in the Atacama salt flat and the La Negra facility. It also assisted Guanaco Compañía Minera with the closing of its acquisition of the Amancaya mining project; and acted for Haldeman Mining Company, a producer of copper cathodes and sulphuric acid, in the negotiation and acquisition of mining company Minera Michilla from copper mining group Anotfagasta. Other active key clients include Sierra Gorda, Exxon Mobile and Atacama Pacific Gold Corporation. Antonio Ortúzar Jr and Mirco Hilgers are recommended.

Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana’s ‘service is excellent and clients receive clear and practical answers that are also timely’. The firm fields lawyers, who are experienced in the financing of mining projects, exploration issues, project development and acquisitions, as well as permits, construction and project closures; the mining team also regularly works alongside the firm’s regulatory, environmental, corporate, tax, labour and dispute resolution practitioners. Highlights saw the team advise Antofagasta Minerals on the purchase of a 50% stake in Minera Zaldivar, one of the largest open-pit copper mines in Chile, from Barrick Gold. It also acted for Molyb (Codelco) in the construction and development of a molybdenum recovery plant; advised New Gold on the sale of its 30% interest in the El Morro copper-gold project to Goldcorp; and is regular counsel to Sociedad Contractual Minera Atacama Minerals Chile on corporate matters, taxation, service contracts, permits, easements and mining rights. The client list also includes New Gold, Asset Chile, Laguna Gold and Kissner Milling Company. For some clients, Pablo Mir is ‘one of the finest Chilean lawyers around; he is always responsive, organised and practical’. Rony Zimerman is also highly rated.

Carey’s highly-rated practice covers the metallic and non-metallic mining industries, including water law issues, land-use surface rights and environmental-law matters; it also assists with contracts and financing. The team acted for Teck Quebrada Blanca in the expansion of its $6.2bn hypogene project, including mining legal-easement trials against the State of Chile for the right to use surface land. It also advised Teck Relincho on a high-value copper project, which included mining concessions, surface land and environmental matters; acted for Quantum Pacific Exploration in an agreement with Asset Chile to finance an exploration programme in northern Chile; and advised Kinross on the corporate restructuring of its mining assets. Other active clients include Codelco, Minera Valle Central, Kinross and Antofagasta Minerals. Rafael Vergara and Alberto Cardemil and counsel Francisco Corona are the key names.

One of the leading firms in Chile’, Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos regularly advises foreign and local clients on the exploration, development, financing and operation of mining projects and worksite closures; and the practice also acts on acquisitions and sales of mining companies and assets. The team advised Trimetals Mining Chile on the amendment to a mining-concession option agreement. It also acted for FQM Exploration (Chile) on the sale of mining properties; acted for Minera Juncal y La Flora, a subsidiary of Silver Standard, on the negotiation, structuring and drafting of a mining-concession sales agreement; and assisted Gold Fields with the exercise of several mining option agreements related to its Salares Norte project. The client list also includes Rio Tinto, First Quantum, Goldcorp and Mineral Mining. Carlos Pérez-Cotapos is ‘an excellent partner to clients on Chilean deals, provides great service, and has in-depth mining knowledge’. Gonzalo Grez is also recommended.

Núñez, Muñoz Abogados is highly regarded for its advice on mining law, including transactions, financings and projects. The firm also has a robust regulatory practice and assists with the environmental law aspects of mining projects. Other typical work includes mining concessions and easements, and mining sector-related M&A transactions and financings. Patricia Nuñez, Rodrigo Muñoz and Andrés Verdugo are highly rated practitioners.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría is recommended for its mining-related project finance, contracts and disputes experience. Recent matters saw the team advise Barrick Gold on a joint venture with QPX for the development of mining projects in Chile; it also acted for Wu Ling Power Corporation on due diligence for the acquisition, through a tender process, of Pacific Hydro, which has assets in Brazil, Chile and Australia. In addition, the practice acts for BHP Billiton, Lithium Power International, Teck and Sumitomo Metal Mining. Juan Paulo Bambach heads the mining and natural resources group and Juan Irarrázabal is a key senior counsel.

CMS Carey & Allendehas excellent mining sector expertise’. The firm regularly advises mining companies on acquiring mining-related property and projects, concessions, regulatory and environmental issues, easements and related contentious proceedings. Recent matters saw the practice advise Compañía Minera Sierra Norte on the acquisition of the Diego de Almagro project, which is expected to have substantial copper reserves; it also advised Solarpack Chile on the constituting of mining concessions which will protect the subsoil of solar energy projects. Jorge Allende Z is recommended. Other clients include Hidroeléctrica Los Patos, Hidroeléctrica Doña Alicia, Arica Solar 1, María Elena Solar and Ormat Technologies.

Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán, Schaeffer & Tapia is highly regarded for its mining-sector transactional work and mining-related disputes and arbitration. The practice’s work includes concessions, contracts and mining developments. Name partner Jerónimo Carcelén is the recommended practitioner.

Claro & Cia. advises some of the US’ and the world’s largest metallic and non-metallic mining companies. Representative work includes assisting with acquiring the permits for the development, construction, operation and closing of mining sites; acquisitions, sales and financings of mining assets both in Chile and abroad; advising on relations with governmental authorities; and assisting with strategies to minimise potential environmental contingencies. The practice advised Soquimich, the second-largest lithium carbonate producer in the world, on the acquisition of 50% of Minera Exar. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is the key name.

Guerrero Olivos acts on the development and operation of significant mining projects in Chile. The practice also represents mining companies in complex disputes, and is highly rated for its experience in foreign investment, acquisitions, joint ventures, due diligence and environmental law issues. Other areas of strength include project finance, public law, and environmental and tax matters. Recent highlights saw the team advise Asian investor Simbalik Group on the development of a €500m lithium mining project; it also provides ongoing advice to US-based mining and energy fund Denham Capital, and its Chilean subsidiary Santiago Metals, on exploration activities. Pedro Lyon, senior counsel Marco Zavala and senior associate Benjamín Pérez are highly regarded.

Jara Del Favero Abogados’ mining and water department is experienced in all stages of mining projects, including mineral exploration, concessions, easements, and the development, financing, construction and commercial operation of projects. The team acted for Antofagasta Minerals in several matters, including mining trials, easement constitution and exploration concessions, as well as M&A deals with mining companies. Gabriel Del Favero and Felipe Ovalle are recommended; as is Ramón Jara, who is a former vice-president of the National Mining Society, and advises on the structuring and financing of large mining projects. Other active clients include Minera Centinela, Rockwood Litio, Algorte Norte and Monsanto Chile.

Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr regularly acts for mining companies in significant projects; the firm’s scope of advice includes assisting with negotiations, foreign investment, financings, construction issues and operational matters. The team recently assisted Aveng Construcciones Chile with a public contract bid for works to be carried out in Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine, the largest open-pit copper mine in the world; the team also acted for BHP Billiton in the review of a prospective request for a mining-works exploration permit. Sergio Orrego is recommended.

Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cia.’s mining group is led by Hugo Prieto. It advises Chilean and foreign mining companies on the development, exploration, exploitation, financing and sale of mining projects, as well as the acquiring of permits. The team advised Tecnomin on mining concessions.

Larrain y Asociados advises significant mining companies on mining projects in Chile; the practice’s scope of assistance includes the survey, exploration, development, operation and construction stages, and the acquisition of mining companies and mining assets. The team also assists clients with project financings, option agreements, the construction of treatment plants, and agreements for the development of technology for the mining industry, as well as proceedings to create mining rights of way and the tax structures required by mining companies. Recent work saw the practice act for FF Minerals in two civil proceedings related to the use of an easement and the embargo of minerals. Transactional highlights included the team’s advice to Sociedad Punta del Cobre on the development of a copper mining project. Jorge Granic is recommended.

Prieto acts for mining companies in mineral tenure matters, due diligence issues, joint ventures and options, and the acquisition of companies and projects. Recent mandates included the practice’s advice to Engie Energía Chile on various matters, including mining easements and concessions; the team also acted for Sibelco Chile in the negotiation and drafting of a limestone supply contract with Codelco. Juan Tagle and the ‘particularly good’ Alberto González E are highly rated; Camila Kutz is a key associate.

Vergara y Cia fields lawyers who have strong expertise in mining concessions and easements, as well as contractual issues, public law matters and the water law aspects of mining projects. The team acted for energy company Hidro Aconcagua on mining law issues, including processing applications for mining concessions. Alejandro Vergara Blanco, Gonzalo Muñoz Escudero and Daniela Rivera Bravo are recommended.

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