Mining in Argentina

Allende & Brea

Allende & Brea stands out for its ‘knowledge of the mining industry, both from a local perspective and an understanding of what foreign mining investors are looking for’. The multidisciplinary mining practice is highly regarded for its ‘assertive and prudent way of handling the issues raised’ as well as ‘clarity in its approaches and responses’. A key specialism for the team, currently, is the lithium industry, in which segment the team not only advises on major transactions -such as Pluspetrol’s recent $85m acquisition of 300 lithium titles- but also advises foreign state agencies (such as the US Department of State and the Australian embassy) and investment agencies. Indeed, the practice has been at the forefront of the majority of significant transactions in the mining sector as a whole, representing Galaxy, for instance, on its $280m sale of assets in the provinces of Salta and Catamarca to Posco. Overall head of the energy and natural resources practice, renowned mining lawyer Florencia Heredia has ‘incomparable experience’; she focuses on natural resource and energy matters in general (and increasingly, arbitration), but her core focus remains mining, where she is a ‘very dependable source for information related to all aspects of a mining transaction’. Senior associate Agostina Martinez and associate Valentina Surraco are increasingly active in post-lithium, battery-minerals and rare earth issues. However, dual qualified associate Nahila Cortes left the firm in July 2021, as did former group co-head Juan Martín Allende, who retired from practice in March 2020 to focus on business and M&A consulting.

Practice head(s):

Florencia Heredia

Testimonials

‘Very capable. Florencia Heredia is an international star in the mining industry.’

‘Florencia Heredia has incomparable experience in dealing with complex international and national matters.’

‘Knowledge of the mining industry, both from a local perspective, and an understanding of what foreign mining investors are looking for from a legal advisor.’

‘Excellent relationship with clients, quick response, focus on essential issues. Assertive and prudent way of handling the issues raised; clarity in their approaches and responses to the queries made’.

‘Allende & Brea is a full service law firm and draws on the experience of different practice groups to provide thorough and thoughtful advice’.

‘The core team that I worked with were able to provide a seamless service and we could follow up with different team members who were all up to speed on the significant issues’.

‘I have worked extensively over the years with Florencia Heredia on mining related transactions. Florencia is a very dependable source for information related to all aspects of a mining transaction. She works well leading a team of lawyers as needed for a specific transaction. She is very responsive and is a trusted advisor.’

Florencia Heredia is in constant communication with me and her experience goes beyond what is strictly legal. She has been in the Argentine mining market for many years, knows in detail the jurisprudence of the main mining provinces of Argentina and has a broad vision of the mining business.

We are very satisfied with the service we receive.

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Galaxy Resources

Pluspetrol (Litica Resources)

Volcan Compañía Minera

Royal Capital Management

Newcrest

SQM

Resource Capital Funds

Newmont Corporation

Livent Corporation

Macquarie Capital

Minera del Altiplano

First Quantum Minerals

Rincon Mining

Nomad Royalty Company

Sibanye Stillwater

Work highlights

  • Advice to Galaxy Resources on the $280m acquisition by Posco of the mining properties owned by Galaxy in the province of Salta and Catamarca.
  • Advised Pluspetrol on its acqusition of all the outstanding common shares of LSC Lithium Corporation, representing the first landing of a major oil and gas company into the lithium sector.
  • Due diligence and advice to Nomad on its $65m acquisition of a portfolio of Yamana Gold’s royalty interests and the contingent payment to be received upon declaration of commercial production at the Deep Carbonates Project at the Gualcamayo gold mine, located in the province of San Juan, Argentina.

Marval O’Farrell Mairal

With ‘integrated knowledge focused on primarily mining issuesMarval O’Farrell Mairal can handle a broad range of mining projects, mining operations and transactions. The practice provides a ‘comprehensive knowledge of all facets of the business, from regulatory points and the Code of Mining and Codes of Provincial Mining Procedures, to everything related to corporate advice’. A particular speciality for the firm is advising on large mining projects and mineral resource transactions. A prestigious senior figure in the sector Luis Lucero leads the team and focuses on mining operations, transactions, litigation and exploration projects. Undertaking 'exceptional work on mining issues', fellow partner Leonardo Rodríguez is also ‘fully capable of handling contentious, corporate and administrative matters’. The pair are supported by a strong associate bench including Andrés Villarreal (transactional mining matters), Ignacio M Alonso (mining litigation and regulatory matters), and dedicated mining specialist María Mercedes Rudolph.

Practice head(s):

Luis Lucero

Testimonials

‘What makes the practice unique is the comprehensive knowledge of all facets of the business, from regulatory points and the Code of Mining and Codes of Provincial Mining Procedures, to everything related to corporate advice. This integrated knowledge focused primarily on mining issues differentiates Marval’s team from other firms, which may be strong in a particular area, but weak on mining regulatory issues’.

‘The pandemic did not affect the quality of the service; Quite the contrary, the firm was able to successfully adapt to the situation, demonstrating the high capacity for adaptation that we needed to continue with our activity’.

‘It is clearly seen that the firm invests in technology issues and keeps its employees compliant, given the low turnover in its teams’.

‘Leonardo G Rodríguez undertakes exceptional work on mining issues. His previous training also makes him fully capable of handling contentious, corporate and administrative matters. In addition, he is personally involved in the issues and, based on this, manages a fast and efficient delivery, which serves for the best decision-making in an industry as dynamic as mining.’

Key clients

Glencore

AngloGold Ashanti

Newmont Goldcorp

Yamana

Pan American Silver

Hochschild Mining Corporation

POSCO

Anglo American

Sumitomo Corporation

Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros

Lilac Solutions

Work highlights

  • Assisted Newmont Corporation and Glencore International with the integration of the Bajo de la Alumbrera operation and the Agua Rica copper-gold project.
  • Advising Oroplata in relation to Cerro Negro, a multi-billion-dollar gold and silver operation in Santa Cruz Province.
  • Representing Glencore’s wholly owned subsidiary Pachón before an Argentine federal court in its high-profile dispute with Minera Los Pelambres  regarding a waste dump built by the latter on Glencore’s property.

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi

The dedicated mining and environmental experts at Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi specialise in providing regulatory and public law advice to foreign investors in the mining sector. The practice can also draw from the firm’s strengths in key related-areas, including M&A and tax. The two practice heads have long standing reputations in the area. Sergio Arbeleche counsels on mining projects and operational mines across the full range of advisory topics, notably contract negotiations and renegotiations, acquisition, disputes and due diligence. Sebastián Vedoya advises on mining projects at different levels of development, from prospecting and exploration, through to construction and exploitation. Key associate support comes from Mercedes Valin, who has particular environmental expertise.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Arbeleche; Sebastián Vedoya

Testimonials

‘Bruchou’s team in mining matters stands out for its solidity, professionalism and great experience in different mining projects’.

‘I highlight the strength of working in teams with lawyers from other offices and with interdisciplinary teams’.

‘Sergio Arbeleche and Sebastián Vedoya stand out. They form a team that adapts to all needs, responding efficiently, solidly and proactively’.

‘Bruchou has an extremely knowledgeable and capable group of lawyers who work in the mining industry, with strong support from other practice areas in the firm, such as corporate commercial, taxation, employment, etc’.

‘Sergio Arbeleche is a specialist in mining law and in my view one of the leading mining lawyers in Argentina. Sergio has extensive knowledge of the law and industry and applies that knowledge in a clear and practical manner.’

‘Sebastian Pedro Vedoya is an exceptional corporate and commercial lawyer.’

‘Sebastian Vedoya – always available, depth of knowledge and the common sense of a senior statesman’.

‘Sergio Arbeleche – depth of knowledge in particular about environmental regulations and the glacier laws’.

‘Outstanding team, 100% committed to clients’ needs. Great knowledge and extensive networking in the sector’.

Key clients

Barrick Gold Corporation

First Quantum Minerals

Yamana Gold

Patagonia Gold

Corriente Argentina

Mineros

Minera Andina del Sol

Barrick Exploraciones Argentina

Minera del Carmen

Orocobre

Minera Peregrine Argentina

Realty Advisors

Stillwater Canada

South Financial Sands

Argentine Mining Chamber

Argentine – Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Lumina Copper

Metalla Royalty & Streaming

Work highlights

  • Advised Barrick Gold Corporation on an agreement with Golden Minerals Company for the exploration of El Quevar silver project, located in the province of Salta, Argentina.
  • Counsel to  Barrick Gold Corporation and its Argentine subsidiaries on all their operations in Argentina, including administrative matters.
  • Counsel to First Quantum Minerals and its Argentine subsidiary in their operations in Argentina.

Alfaro-Abogados

Alfaro-Abogados advises exploration and development companies, particularly in relation to uranium and lithium matters. The team has notable expertise in government contracts, joint ventures, suppliers' agreements and project finance. A well-known figure in the sector, mining law expert Ignacio Celorrio co-leads the practice with Federico Palavecino; formerly in house at Barrick Gold, he specialises in mining-sector consultancy (including financing, developing, construction and operation stages) along with tax and administrative issues. Key associate support comes from experience senior Nicolás Ferla who has a broad engagement with energy and natural resources matters, environmental law and also handles regulatory and corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Celorrio; Federico Palavecino

Key clients

Lithium Americas

Golden Arrow Resources

Blue Sky Uranium

Argosy Minerals

Latin Resources

Oceana Gold

Franco Nevada Corporation

Sandstorm Gold Royalties

Pepinnini Minerals

Work highlights

  • Advised Lithium Americas Corporation (in Argentina), on the completion of a $100m at-the-market equity offering.
  • Advised Golden Arrow Resources on exploration deals in Argentina.
  • Advised Latin Resources on the negotiation and execution of a joint venture agreement with local investment company Integra Capital , through which Integra will undertake an initial investment of $1m to underpin an exploration program in Catamarca.

Baker McKenzie

Combining industry knowledge with the resources of a global full-service firm, Baker McKenzie assists local and international clients on all mining-sector matters. The practice has particular expertise in regulatory issues, but also advises on tax, labour, environmental and corporate aspects of the sector. Practice head Adolfo Durañona’s strengths are commercial agreements, major projects and M&A. He co-leads the team with Ezequiel Artola, who handles mining, oil and gas, energy, renewables and infrastructure work. Key associate Tomás Trusso is currently undertaking his LLM.

Practice head(s):

Adolfo Durañona; Ezequiel Artola

Testimonials

‘We consider of utmost importance the personal treatment and the complete knowledge of the legal regulations, as well as the understanding of the issues raised in our consultations which involve not only local vision but also the greater context, linked to which our foreign parent company must fully understand the answers that are provided to us’.

‘Adolfo Durañona is an example of high-level counseling and responsibility. He also provides good treatment and is committed to the work entrusted to him. Monitoring the results far beyond having complied with preparing an opinion’.

Key clients

Albemarle Corporation

Orbit Garant

Vale (Potasio Rio Colorado)

Bunge Minera

Rincon Litio

Work highlights

  • Advising Vale on a $30m share-transfer agreement with the province of Mendoza, involving shares in Potasio Rio Colorado, the owner of a potassium project in the province.
  • Assisting lithium producer Albermarle secure a new environmental license and maintain its current mining concessions.
  • Legal advice to Bunge Minera with regard to its mining operations in Argentina, particularly concerning a conflict arising from the overlap of its mining rights and YPF’s oil rights in the Vaca Muerta formation, Neuquén province.

Beccar Varela

Advising producers, exploration companies and service suppliers, Beccar Varela’s broad practice handles due diligence operations and the negotiation of agreements, as well as advising on the corporate governance affairs of publicly-listed companies. Another strength of the team is its grasp of complex regulatory issues at the national and provincial level, which is combined with cross-border expertise. Well-known market figure and industry expert Roberto Fortunati focuses on mining M&A and project finance. He co-leads the team with senior associate Marcos Moreno Hueyo, whose experience in the sector includes both time in house (as head of legal at Orosur) and working in private practice in neighbouring Chile (at Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana).

Practice head(s):

Roberto Fortunati; Marcos Moreno Hueyo

Key clients

Southern Copper Corporation and Southern Copper Argentina

Centaur Resources and Centaur Resources

Minera San Jorge

Everlight Resources and SurMinera

Route One Investment Company

Compañía Inversora en Minas (CIMINAS)

Asphaltum Argentina

Esco Corporation

Cummins Argentina Servicios Mineros

Work highlights

  • Legal advisory to the Australian group Centaur Resources concerning the corporate status of the local subsidiary in Argentina, as well as on its lithium investment projects.
  • Advice to Mexico’s Southern Copper Corporation concerning the preparation of a purchase option agreement for the Hoyada Project, concerning 57 copper/ silver mining properties in the province of Catamarca, Argentina; estimated value: $6m.
  • Corporate advice to Southern Copper Argentina on the preparation of the drilling contracts required for the development of its mining activities in the province of Río Negro.

Beretta Godoy

With a ‘strong understanding of all aspects related to corporate lawBeretta Godoy handles a variety of mining industry matters, from routine contracts and tax issues, to the corporate and regulatory structuring of large deals. The team also has expertise in advising clients on regulatory and political risks in transfer pricing, customs valuation, foreign exchange and international trade matters. Federico Godoy focuses on energy projects, mining investment, infrastructure projects and investment protection law. He co-leads the team with Juan Sonoda, who has an ‘exceptional understanding of mining laws and an excellent international reputation’.

Practice head(s):

Federico Godoy; Juan Sonoda

Testimonials

‘Personalised, solid knowledge’.

‘Excellent firm in mining’.

‘Juan Sonoda is a very professional and serious lawyer. He has an exceptional understanding of mining laws and has an excellent international reputation. He is a good alternative in Argentina for mining businesses.’

‘Strong understanding of all aspects related to corporate law’

‘Juan Sonoda and Tomas Balzano are knowledge and have an ability to explain things in layman’s terms’.

Key clients

Yamana Gold

BHP Billiton

Goldcorp

Gangfeng Lithium

Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt

Barranca Sur Minera

Huayou Cobalt

Minera Agua Rica

Estelar Resources Limited

Barranca Sur

Litio Minera Argentina

Proyecto Pastos Grandes

Work highlights

  • 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; the integrated project will henceforth be known as the MARA project.
  • Represented Yamana Gold on the $150m sale of its Gualcamayo mine (located in San Juan, Argentina) to Mineros, and involving the spin-off of several projects and assets owned by the companies.
  • Representing Minas Argentinas, Litio Minera Argentina and Estelar Resources in amparos and other actions regarding the unconstitutionality of tax decree 793/2018 issued by the Federal Government.

Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados

The mining practice at Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados is underpinned by the full-service firm's  multidisciplinary expertise in cross-border investments, M&A and project finance in conjunction with the experience of various ex-members of former leading mining boutique HOLT Abogados, the former firm of both Matías Olcese and María Paula Terrel. Olcese focuses on mining regulatory, financing and transactional activity, while Terrel is a corporate and finance practitioner with a long-standing focus on the mining industry. The practice has a footprint in the lithium segment (with clients LSC Lithium Corp, Centenario Lithium and Lithium Power) and continues to gain new clients - notably Kinross Gold Corporation, Fortuna Silver Mines and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. The pair can also call on corporate-finance partner Julio Martínez who has experience in mining sector financings; and name-partner Horacio Ruiz Moreno also leans into the sector regarding administrative, regulatory and corporate matters as required.

Practice head(s):

Matías Olcese; María Paula Terrel

Testimonials

‘Comprehensive solutions, covers all specialities’

‘Very focused, prompt response to our needs’

‘Excellent team’

‘They respond very quickly and precisely. Very good customer service, prices according to expectations.’

Key clients

LSC Lithium Corp

Lithium Power International

Fortuna Silver Mines

Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Shandong Gold Mining

Kinross Gold Corporation

RHI- Magnesita

LitheA

K.R.Energy

Tor Investment Management

Rumble Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Fortuna Silver subsidiary Mansfield Minera on its framework precious metals purchase agreement with a global precious metals merchant.
  • Advising Lithium Power International on the recapitalisation process of its Argentine joint-venture vehicle “Lithium Power Argentina”, to fund its annual operational budgets in Argentina for lithium project “Centenario” in the Province of Salta.
  • Advised Holcim on its ongoing industrial mining operations (and associated environmental matters) with respect to its fluorite and industrial rock quarries, which source Holcim’s industrial activities in Argentina.

Nicholson y Cano Abogados

Advising across the exploration, development, production and abandonment stages, Nicholson y Cano Abogados has broad and lengthy experience in the mining sector. Work includes advice to mining companies regarding claims and properties, due diligence of mining rights, 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 and Eduardo Koch a 30-year-veteran corporate practitioner with extensive experience in the mining sector; the pair co-lead an eight-strong team.

Practice head(s):

Nicolás Perkins; Eduardo Koch

Key clients

Desarrollo de Prospectos Mineros

Filo del Sol Exploración

Pampa Exploración

Pecom Energía

Minera Exar

Work highlights

  • Undertook analysis of key government-take and regulatory elements at a federal, provincial and municipal levels (required for bankability purposes prior to obtaining a Mining Stability Certificate), on behalf of Desarrollos Prospectos Mineros and in relation to its Josemaria Project.
  • Advised Pampa Exploración on the Valle Ancho Interceptor provincial public bid.