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Rafael Vergara

Work +56 2 2928 2210

Work Department

Natural Resources and Environment Group.


Partner, Carey.

His practice focuses on natural resources, mining, water rights, energy, environment, surface lands, project financing, and corporate and commercial law.


Recognized as Leading Individual in Mining and Projects, Chambers Latin America.
Recognized in Mining, Legal 500.
Recognized in Mining & Metals, Latin Lawyer 250.
Ranked as Most Highly Regarded Individual in Mining, Who’s Who Legal.
Elected Best Undergraduate Professor Award, Universidad de Chile Law School.
Recognized as Lawyer of the Year in Energy and Natural Resources, Best Lawyers (2014-2016).
Recognized in Energy, Environmental, Natural Resources and Project Finance and Development, Best Lawyers.
Recognized in Energy, LACCA.
Recognized in Energy, Who’s Who Legal.
Winner in the Natural Resources: Mining Category, Leading Lawyers, Idealis (2013 and 2015).

Author of several legal publications, including the Chilean chapter on Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2010-2013).

Special courses on mining law for judges and members of the Courts of Appeals, organized by the Judiciary Academy of Chile.
Presented papers on Chilean mining, energy, natural resources regulations and environment at numerous seminars, both in Chile and abroad.

Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de Chile (since 1996).
Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de los Andes (since 2003).
At-Large Council Member representative for Latin America, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) (2017-2019).
Trustee-at-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2012-2015).
Visiting Professor in several graduate studies and Master Degree Programs on Natural Resources Law at several Chilean Universities.
Secretary of the Association of Latin American Mining Lawyers (AMLA).


Spanish and English.


Member of the Chilean Bar Association. Member of its board (2006-2011).
Member of the panel of arbitrators, Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago.
Member of the Legal Committee of the National Mining Association (SONAMI).
Member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
Member of the International Bar Association.
Member of the American Bar Association.
Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
Member of the Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA).


Law, Universidad de Chile.
Participant, Academy of American and International Law, Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas (USA) (1993).
Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard University, Boston (USA) (1997).



Within: Leading lawyers

Rafael Vergara - Carey

Within: Environment

Carey’s full-service environmental, indigenous and regulatory practice is highly rated for large, complex matters in areas such as mining, non-conventional renewable energy and aquaculture; and the environmental litigation team regularly works alongside the firm’s disputes resolution group on administrative disputes. Highlights included advising Hidronor, which operates in the industrial waste sector, on strategic environmental analysis and associated advice concerning the development of a new phase of the largest security landfill for industrial waste in southern Chile. In contentious matters, the team defended concrete producer Melón against a claim for alleged environmental contamination damage filed by fishing organisations. Alberto Cardemil is highly rated; Rafael Vergara has vast experience in regulatory and environmental evaluation procedures, due diligence and audits; and counsel Felipe Meneses focuses on environmental and indigenous law, territorial planning and regulatory matters, including complex administrative disputes and litigation.

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Projects and infrastructure

Within: Leading lawyers

Rafael Vergara - Carey

Within: Projects and infrastructure

Carey has significant experience in industry sectors such as mining, shipyards, ports and airports, hospitals, and real estate, as well as in power and renewable energy – including wind, solar and hydro power. Recent highlight mandates include advising Asociación Chilena de Seguridad on the legal structuring of a major hospital expansion project; and assisting a major power transmission line company with the project finance for transmission lines and substation construction projects. Rafael Vergara, Oscar Aitken and Juan Francisco Mackenna are all highly active and well regarded, as are Alberto Cardemil, José Miguel Bustamante, and Juan Pablo Stitchkin; Felipe Moro is singled-out as ‘a very good lawyer who has great understanding of his clients’ needs’;

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Chile: Energy and natural resources


Within: Leading lawyers

Rafael Vergara - Carey

Within: Mining

Carey advises foreign and local mining companies, sponsors and lenders on significant mining projects. The practice group’s scope ranges across metallic and non-metallic mining sectors, and handles mining, water, and land use rights, as well as environmental, community and technical and regulatory issues. It recently advised Codelco on the development of its Radomiro Tomic copper project in northern Chile; and advised Kinross on the constitution of a group of mining concessions. Other highlights include advising Teck Quebrada Blanca on the expansion of its hypogene project; the assistance included mining legal easements litigation against the State to obtain the right to use surface land for additional project expansion and new facilities. Rafael Vergara and Alberto Cardemil are ‘truly fantastic’; and Francisco Corona is a key counsel.

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