The multidisciplinary mining practice at Allende & Brea demonstrates profound know-how on all aspects of mining project development, from regulatory and environmental issues to tax, financings and contractual matters, but is increasingly recognised as a “go-to” strategic advisor during difficult times in the Argentine mining sector in general. The team is particularly strong in the lithium segment, as well as in cross-border work. Another distinguishing factor is the team’s presence in mining organisations and thought leadership in the field, notably practice head Florencia Heredia, one of the foremost figures in the sector. Vice Chair of Seeril (energy, environment, natural resources and infrastructure law section) and a member of the Academic Council of the Latin American mining law network REDMIN, Heredia provides expert advice to financing institutions and companies on mining and -increasingly- other natural resources transactions in Argentina, particularly representing lenders in mining project finance in the country. Key support comes from associates Agostina Martinez and Valentina Surraco, who both focus on mining, associated corporate issues and foreign investment; and senior Martín Alejo Prieto, who specialises in environmental and administrative matters. Since publication the team has been further strengthened with the arrival of semi-senior Maria Milagros Pieroni, formerly in-house legal and compliance officer at lithium junior, Minera Exar – effective as of November 2022.
Mining in Argentina
Allende & Brea
‘Very informed, competent team.‘
‘Top notch lawyers. Florencia Heredia is a star.‘
Allkem (the merged company of Orocobre and Galaxy Resources)
Pluspetrol (Litica Resources)
Volcan Compañía Minera
Royal Capital Management
Resource Capital Funds
Macquarie Capital Inc
Minera del Altiplano
First Quantum Minerals
Nomad Royalty Company
Sprott Capital Partners
- Assisted Allkem (formed by the merger of Orocobre and Galaxy Resources) with the implementation of its merger arrangement in Argentina.
- Advised Rincon on its entry into a binding agreement for the sale of Rincon Mining (which owns the Rincon lithium project, a large undeveloped lithium brine project in Salta, Argentina) to Rio Tinto for $825m.
- Advised the underwriters (Scotiabank and Sprott Capital Partners) on the initial public offering of Mineros on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Marval O’Farrell Mairal
Handling all issues related to mining projects and mining operations, Marval O’Farrell Mairal has ‘proven that it is able to advise on different aspects of complex cross-border transaction because of its wide offering of legal services’. The practice’s strengths include large mineral-resources deals, complex regulatory matters and niche mining-related litigation. The team is also experienced in day-to-day advice on mining projects and operations in Argentina, from acquisition, exploration and feasibility, to construction and operation. Another feature of the practice is its advice to the Argentine mining chamber (Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros). Following the retirement of veteran practitioner and former departmental head Luis E Lucero , practice leadership has passed to Leonardo Rodríguez a deeply experienced mining specialist with some 20 years’ dedication to the sector. He is flanked by an experienced line of associates including: seniors Ignacio Alonso (who recently assisted Glencore, Newmont and Yamana subsidiary, Minera Alumbrera, with complex litigation and regulatory matters); and Andrés Villarreal (whose recent matters include advising Anglogold Ashanti on exploration and option agreements with Latin Metals, regarding gold projects Organullo, Ana María y Trigal); along with recently appointed senior Agustina Dellacasa, whose practice centres on mining, natural resources and climate change, and associate María Mercedes Rudolph, who has a decade’s experience working throughout the mining sector.
‘Very responsive and knowledgeable team.’
‘Marval O’Farrell Mairal has proven that it is able to advise on different aspects of complex cross-border transaction because of its wide offering of legal services. This is very important to foreign clients as they are always looking for a law firm which can advise them on A to Z legal issues in Argentina.’
‘Leonardo Rodriguez and Maria Macarena Garcia Mirri are outstanding lawyers who are always available for their clients. Leonardo is very committed in ensuring that his clients get timely advice and is reachable even late at night. Maria is very knowledgeable and could pre-empt legal issues. They have proven to be valuable team members whom you want to have on your side when you have a cross-border M&A deal.’
Pan American Silver
Hochschild Mining Corporation
Eternal Tsingshan Group Limited
Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros
Metalla Royalty & Streaming
- Advised both Glencore and Newmont on the implementation of the integration between the Bajo de la Alumbrera copper-gold-molybdenum operation and the Agua Rica project – both located in Catamarca province, in the North-Western region of Argentina.
- Advising joint venture MARA’s subsidiary on a number of regulatory issues related to the Alumbrera/Agua Rica project; and wholly-owned subsidiary Estelar Resources in connection with its Cerro Moro operation in Santa Cruz province.
- Advised Eternal Tsingshan Group on the construction of its lithium plant in Argentina through an agreement with the Chinese steel group Tsingshan.
Bruchou & Funes de Rioja
Specialising in the legal and environmental matters associated with mining operations at the municipal, provincial and national levels, Bruchou & Funes de Rioja‘s team covers the full project lifecycle, from project finance to the environmental ramifications of such developments. The practice benefits from good relations with federal and provincial authorities and utilises this to assist mining companies throughout the project development stages, from acquisition, prospection, exploration and financing to the obtaining of all necessary licenses and permits to facilitate construction and commercialisation. Sergio Arbeleche and Sebastián Vedoya are the key names for mining and environmental advice; Arbeleche focuses on contractual matters along with administrative constitutional and international public law; while Vedoya’s practice centres on advising local and foreign companies on mining, hydrocarbon and environmental issues. Senior associate Dolores Cattaneo, who divides her practice between mining and environmental matters, is also noted.
Sergio Arbeleche; Sebastián Vedoya
‘What makes this practice unique is the reliability in responding to requirements. Immediately after an event occurs that requires advice, support, or executive action in handling a situation, we immediately have it. There is no bureaucracy, there is full execution and efficiency.‘
‘They handle all specialties with the same level of response efficiency. They are on the subject, they are proactive, they take care that there are no missed deadlines, they remember any obligation prior to expiration. And always with an excellent level.‘
‘The Bruchou team provides extremely sophisticated advice to its clients. They have full range of services but I know them to be leaders in mining law and corporate/commericial and M&A fields. The quality of advice and service is superior to most all other firms I have worked with in Argentina.‘
‘Sergio Arbeleche is a leader in Argentinean mining law and mining related transactions. He has in depth knowledge of the industry and provides excellent service and advice.‘
‘Sebastian Vedoya is a highly skilled corporate/commercial M&A lawyer. He extremely knowledgeable and provides excellent services. I have full confidence in Sebastian.‘
Barrick Gold Corporation
First Quantum Minerals
Lithium Royalty Corporation
Minera Andina del Sol
Barrick Exploraciones Argentina
Minera del Carmen
Lundin Mining Corporation
Minera Peregrine Argentina
Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt
Minera Agua Rica
Metalla Royalty & Streaming
- Advised Barrick Group on the development of its various exploration and exploitation projects in Argentina.
- Advised Lundin Mining Corporation on the acquisition of the Josemaría Project in the Province of San Juan, and on matters related to its landing in Argentina as foreign investor.
- Advised First Quantum Minerals on legal matters related to the conditions for construction and development of the Taca Taca Project.
Recommended for its ‘great knowledge of the mining sector’, Alfaro-Abogados is experienced in joint ventures and strategic alliances, exploration and option agreements, permitting and project construction. In addition, the team handles a range of issues related to Federal and Provincial Government relations, regulatory matters, compliance and litigation in the sector. Mining specialist Ignacio Celorrio co-leads the team with Federico Palavecino, whose expertise covers mining and tax law. Nicolás Ferla is another key name in the practice and handles mining, regulatory and corporate law matters.
Ignacio Celorrio; Federico Palavecino
‘They are always available and have a great knowledge of the mining sector, without a doubt.‘
Golden Arrow Resources (“GRC”)
Argentina Lithium & Energy
- Advised Golden Arrow Resources on exploration and option deals in Argentina, particularly in relation to gold and uranium.
- Advised Argosy Minerals on the Rincon Lithium Project in Salta province, Argentina; specifically the financing of a lithium brine project.
- Advised Latin Resources Limited on a lithium-related pegmatite project in Catamarca and San Luis.
Known for its cross-border mining expertise, Baker McKenzie‘s Argentine mining law practice is led by Buenos Aires-office managing partner, Adolfo Durañona, who combines strengths in commercial agreements, major projects and M&A with extensive mining sector knowledge. Fellow partner and practice-group member Ezequiel Artola focuses on mining, oil and gas, energy, renewables and infrastructure. The team can also draw on the offices expertise in a range of related disciplines to assist in complex mining matters, notably tax, labour, environmental and corporate law, along with regulatory and compliance matters, where senior legal counsel Yanina Odriozola is on hand to provide sophisticated advice.
Adolfo Durañona; Ezequiel Artola
Vale (Potasio Rio Colorado)
Rio Tinto International Holdings
Guocheng Holding (Hong Kong)
- Assisted Rio Tinto International Holdings with a competitive and binding sale process that resulted in the company’s $825m acquisition of Rincon Mining.
- Advised Vale on a share transfer agreement executed with the Province of Mendoza regarding the shares of Potasio Rio Colorado.
- Assisted Albemarle Corporation with the maintenance of its current mining concessions and environmental licenses.
With ‘high experience in the laws and regulations of Argentina in the mining field’, Beccar Varela can advise along the length of the industry’s value chain, including investors, producers, exploration companies and service and equipment suppliers. The practice group’s activity is centred on mining transactions, corporate governance and advice on negotiating and drafting easement agreements with surface rights holders and landowners, as well as assisting with provincial permitting issues. M&A, banking and project finance specialist Roberto Fortunati is head of the team and has a lengthy track record in the sector. However, the September 2022 departure of key senior associate Marcos Moreno Hueyo is a loss. Tax specialist senior associate María Luján Callaci is also active in the area.
‘Beccar attorneys are excellent. They get involved with the client and put on the shirt.‘
‘They are integrity and absolutely experts in their areas of concern. Marcos Moreno and Maria Lujan Calacci are examples of this.‘
‘Beccar Valera has a high experience in the laws and regulations of Argentina in the mining field, allowing an exceptional support to our company.‘
Southern Copper Corporation / Southern Copper Argentina
Centaur Resources and Centaur Resources
Minera San Jorge
Everlight Resources and Surminera
Route One Investment Company
Compañía Inversora en Minas
Cummins Argentina Servicios Mineros
Sandvik Mining & Construction Argentina
- Advice to the Australian group Centaur concerning the corporate status of its local subsidiary in Argentina, as well as on its lithium investment projects.
- Advice to Mexican group Southern Copper Corporation (one of the world’s biggest copper producers) concerning the requirements for the transfer and registration of mining properties.
- Advice to Southern Copper Argentina on the preparation of the drilling contracts required for the development of the mining activity in the province of Río Negro.
Beretta Godoy’s advisory covers day-to-day project-operational matters, mining contracts and regulatory structuring. The team is experienced in exploration projects as well as mature ventures, and can call on a strong tax team to assist with the complex tax planning matters that arise in the sector – such as originiating cross-border mineral stream structures. A particular specialism is assisting foreign mining companies on their arrival and establishment in Argentina, as well as advising foreign companies investing in projects in other Latin American countries. Spearheading the group is founding partner and seasoned mining practitioner Federico Godoy, whose expertise includes energy projects, mining investment, infrastructure projects and investment protection law. Additional partner level experience is provided by Juan Sonoda, who focuses on energy, natural resources, cross-border transactions and dispute resolution.
Federico Godoy; Juan Sonoda
Barranca Sur Minera
Minera Agua Rica
Estelar Resources Limited (Yamana Gold)
Litio Minera Argentina (Ganfeng Lithium Corp)
Proyecto Pastos Grandes (Millenial Lithium Corp)
- Advised Yamana Gold on the integration of the Minera Agua Rica project with the Minera Alumbrera plant and infrastructure, both located in the Catamarca Province of Argentina.
- Assisted Ganfeng with a capital contribution to Minera Exar by reviewing, drafting and commenting the legal documents required to such end.
- Advised Yamana Gold on the execution of an option agreement.
Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados
The experienced Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados' practice advises on all phases of mining projects, from finance, development and construction to commercialisation, regulatory matters and day-to-day operations. The team has particular experience in the lithium segment, where it is particularly active in M&A but also brings together multidisciplinary strengths from across the firm to advise on a range of cross-border investments, project finance and mine development. Matías Olcese is the name to note; he focuses on regulatory, finance and M&A transactions in the mining industry. He co-leads the practice with corporate and finance specialist María Paula Terrel who has extensive mining-sector experience; she is currently working out of Santiago, Chile.
Matías Olcese; María Paula Terrel
Lithium Power International
Fortuna Silver Mines
Toyota Tsusho Corporation
Shandong Gold Mining
Kinross Gold Corporation
KR Energy /FIB
Tor Investment Management
Uranium One Holding
New Era Metal
Shenzhen Chengxin Lithium Group
- Advising Livent in the $640m expansion of its lithium processing plant and associated facilities located in the Salar del Hombre Muerto, Catamarca province, Argentina.
- Advised Mansfield on the development of its “Lindero” gold project, including legal assistance throughout construction.
- Advised Uranium One in its $30m joint venture Investment with Alpha Lithium on the Tolillar Salar (Salta province, Argentina), with option to invest an additional $185m.
Nicholson y Cano Abogados
With expertise throughout the entire mining lifecycle, Nicholson y Cano Abogados has in depth experience from exploration and development, through to commercial exploitation and closure. Work includes advisory regarding claims and properties, mining rights due diligence, as well as processing the granting of exploration permits, and ongoing advice on compliance with mining code provisions. The firm supplements this expertise with its environmental law, and business and human rights practices. Nicolás Perkins is a recognised mining specialist, as is Fernando Caruso, who has a 30-year track record in the sector; the pair co-lead an eight-strong team.
- Counsel to Josemaria Resources Incorporated on the $485m sale of its major copper/gold asset in San Juan to Lundin Mining Corporation.