Natural resources (transactions and regulatory) in Australia


Allens continues to receive instructions from many of the most prominent players in the oil and gas and mining industries, leveraging its comprehensive offering spanning M&A, project development, taxation and disputes. Richard Malcolmson leads the firm’s Sydney office, focusing primarily on the mining sector, where he supports clients with significant M&A transactions, divestments, joint ventures and commercial agreements. Igor Bogdanich, who leads the team in Perth, handles major transactions in the oil and gas sector, however he is also closely involved in several major mining projects. Jodi Reinmuth (Perth) stands out for her ongoing work for Rio Tinto; and Mark McAleer is noted for his strong corporate practice across the natural resources industry. Tracey Greenaway departed to Corrs Chambers Westgarth in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Richard Malcolmson; Igor Bogdanich

Other key lawyers:

Jodi Reinmuth; Mark McAleer

Key clients

CITIC Pacific Mining Management Pty Ltd

Pembroke Resources

Australian Industrial Energy

Woodside Energy Limited

Global Infrastructure Partners

Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp.

Rio Tinto

Aurelia Metals Limited

Senex Energy Limited

Central Petroleum Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG Common Facilities from Shell for $2.5bn.
  • Acting for Woodside Energy Limited on all aspects of its proposed development of the A$15.8bn Scarborough LNG Project.
  • Advising Triple Flag on a $550m+ Gold and Silver Stream in relation to the Northparkes Mine.


Ashurst’s practice supports clients in the natural resources sector throughout the project value chain, focusing predominantly on the mining industry. Alongside its strong transactional and regulatory work, the firm handles litigation arising in the sector, including various fore majeure and frustration claims brought following disruption caused by COVID-19. Gaelan Cooney leads the practice from Perth, focusing primarily on assisting lenders and borrowers with financing transactions, including project finance, acquisition finance and asset finance.  Antonella Pacitti (Perth) has an exceptional transactional practice, having led on several of the largest M&A deals in 2020, including Galaxy Resources $4bn merger with Orocobre Limited. Associate Marina Tinning is also a core member of the group. Lorenzo Pacitti departed to King & Wood Mallesons in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Gaelan Cooney

Other key lawyers:

Antonella Pacitti; Marina Tinning

Key clients

Adani Australia

Anglo American


Deterra Royalties Limited

Evolution Mining Limited

Galaxy Resources


Iluka Resources Limited


Ioneer Ltd


Minerals Council of Australia

Mineral Resources Limited



New Century

Northern Star Resources Limited

Peabody Australia

Regis Resources

Rio Tinto

Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd

Sandfire Resources NL

Sheffield Resources






Yara International

Work highlights

  • Advised Northern Star Resources Ltd on its A$16bn merger with Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd.
  • Advised Deterra Resources Limited in connection with its demerger from Iluka Resources Limited and separate listing on ASX.
  • Advised Galaxy Resources Limited on its A$4bn merger with Orocobre Limited by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is known for its work in innovative projects related to the transition to clean energy, its deep expertise across the full life cycle of mining, oil and gas and power projects, and its strong regulatory practice. The team handles numerous divestments and acquisitions driven by the industry-wide move towards low carbon and green initiatives, leveraging the strength of the firm’s environment, employment, health and safety teams to provide a seamless service. Jay Leary, based in Brisbane, handles a wide range of work across the natural resources industry, including private M&A, joint ventures, operating agreements, marketing agreements and development agreements. Nick Baker, based in Melbourne, serves a varied roster of clients on resources-related investments, joint ventures, and acquisitions. Stuart Barrymore is well-respected for his comprehensive work for major oil and gas companies, spanning such areas as project structuring, financing, divestment and regulatory compliance. Robert Merrick is another well rated energy expert; Sian Newnham's practice spans the mining and energy sectors and Adam Strauss also handles M&A transactions in the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Jay Leary; Nick Baker

Other key lawyers:

Robert Merrick; Stuart Barrymore; Sian Newnham; Adam Strauss

Key clients


Iluka Resources Limited

IGO Limited

Sociedad Quimica y Minera



Anglo American


Enaex S.A.


Santos Limited

AGL Energy

Origin Energy




Work highlights

  • Advised IGO Limited on its proposed A$1.9bn acquisition of 49% of Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia.
  • Assisting Newcrest Mining Limited on all aspects of the Cadia gold mine expansion project.
  • Advised Enaex S.A on its $62m acquisition of Downer Blasting Service.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons has taken a leading role in emerging areas of work, reflecting its depth of expertise. The team has advised a varied roster of clients, including private equity sponsors and investment banks, in relation to capital raising initiatives; furthermore, the team has advised numerous companies on ESG considerations in light of the recent destruction of the Juukan Gorge site. Robert Edel, based in Perth, focuses on cross-border mandates, advising foreign governments and major corporations on project structuring and financing, among various other areas. Melbourne partner Scott Langford is highly respected in the mining and natural resources industry, having worked on numerous major transactions and projects for prominent companies such as BHP and Newmont. Paul Schroder‘s broad practice includes advising on cross-border resources M&A transactions. The team has been boosted with the hire of Lorenzo Pacitti from Ashurst.

Practice head(s):

Craig Rogers; Robert Edel

Other key lawyers:

Paul Schroder; Scott Langford;Lorenzo Pacitti


‘Diverse team, transparent billing, good response times, ability to work to deadlines.’

‘Paul Schroder is always available, has good client contact and good focus on detail.’

‘The practice is led by Scott Langford, who is a very experienced corporate mining lawyer. The team can be relied on to provide commercially relevant advice within the (sometimes challenging) timeframes expected by the client. The work product provided is excellent and can be trusted. ’

‘Scott Langford is a very experienced corporate mining lawyer, with invaluable blend of private practise and in-house corporate experience. As a result, Scott provides commercially relevant legal advice. Scott also has strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build quick rapport with his clients (both legal and non-legal).’


Key clients

Alumina Limited

API Management

Aurizon Holdings Limited

Aquila Resources Pty Ltd

Baosteel Group

Galena Mining

Glencore plc

Goldcorp Inc

Griffin Coal

Mount Gibson

Pembroke Resources

RCR Tomlinson

Resolute Mining

SMB/Winning International Group


Work highlights

  • Advised Shandong Gold Mining Co., Limited on an off-market takeover bid to acquire 100 per cent ownership of Cardinal Resources.
  • Advised China Molybdenum on its $550m gold and silver streaming transaction.
  • Advised EMR Capital on the acquisition of the Ravenswood Gold Mine from Resolute Mining Limited for up to A$300m.

Allen & Overy

Known for its strong multijurisdictional practice, Allen & Overy LLP’s Perth team focuses predominantly on corporate transactions in the mining sector. Geoff Simpson has over two decades of experience handling cross-border and domestic M&A, joint ventures, capital markets deals and project development in the natural resources space. Meredith Campion stands out for her expertise in commercial agreements underpinning major international mining ventures. Peter Wilkes is highly regarded for assisting clients with debt finance transactions, including project finance, acquisition finance and trade finance arrangements. Another key partner is Goran Galic, who regularly counsels mining clients on project development, operation and maintenance.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Meredith Campion; Peter Wilkes; Goran Galic; Luke Nicholls


‘The Perth, Australia ENR team has complete mastery of issues in the ENR space and a willingness to provide first-class advice at a budget that works for the client. They work particularly well with their local counsel on the ground in foreign jurisdictions, no doubt aided by the “one firm” global partnership model.’

‘Team leader Goran Galic’s depth of energy & resources expertise is top of the market and he always delivers on time and on budget. It’s difficult to choose any other advisor as he has genuine knowledge of the issues we face in sub-Saharan Africa.’

‘Luke Nicholls is a fearless negotiator in the transactional space, always obtaining excellent outcomes for us.’

Key clients


Pilbara Minerals

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation

Mineral Resources

Tigers Realm Coal

Fortescue Metals Group

Alkane Resources

Global Advanced Metals

AIC Mines

EMR Capital


Reed Industrial Minerals

Capricorn Copper

Tanami Gold

Habrok Mining

Work highlights

  • Advising Pilbara Minerals on the acquisition of Altura Mining’s subsidiary Altura Lithium Operations.
  • Advising Mitsubishi Materials Corporation on its $300m acquisition of a 30% stake in Mantoverde SA.
  • Advised Alkane Resources and ASM on the establishment of a Korean joint venture.

Clayton Utz

Headquartered in Brisbane, Clayton Utz is highly active in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, advising clients on thermal coal, minerals and iron ore projects. Its range of work is equally varied, encompassing regulatory advice, project development and operation, and significant M&A. In a standout matter, the team advised Tianqi Lithium Corporation on its agreement to create a global lithium joint venture with IGO Limited, valued at AUD1.9bn. Stuart MacGregor, based in Brisbane, provides comprehensive transactional and regulatory support to energy and natural resources clients. In Perth, Brett Cohen is heavily invested in the mining sector, acting for numerous large corporates operating in Australia and overseas. Liz Humphry, who is also based in Perth, handles a broad portfolio of corporate deals and financing arrangements across the natural resources sector.

Practice head(s):

Stuart MacGregor

Other key lawyers:

Brett Cohen; Liz Humphry; Mark Geritz;


‘Clayton Utz’s team work very hard and have the latest knowledge on the acquisition of mining tenements.  Clayton Utz team’s work is very fast even when it is a weekend or holiday. We need to understand the regulations, rules and procedures in Australia. Clayton Utz team have the latest knowledge on them and support our project.’

‘CU is the firm we go to for natural resources support. They know the law, know the industry and their advice is always fit for purpose and delivered efficiently.’

‘Mark Geritz is our go-to person for regulatory support. We don’t ask anyone else and don’t need to. Brett Cohen – Practical, solid and efficient support in transactions/projects’

Key clients

Tianqi Lithium Corporation

Bravus Mining & Resources

Nippon Steel Corporation

Mitsui Coal Holdings

Talison Lithium

Sun Metals

Fortescue Metals Group

Northern Territory Government


Idemitsu Australia Resources

Peak Iron Mines Pty Ltd

New Hope Group

EMR Capital



Anglo American

Sugar Terminals Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for China-based Tianqi Lithium Corporation on its A$1.9bn lithium joint venture with GO Limited.
  • Advised a consortium of major Japanese steelmakers on their acquisition of a 12% interest in the Grosvenor coal mine.
  • Advising Bravus Mining & Resources on Australia’s largest coal project, the Carmichael Mine and Rail project.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

With its main offices in Brisbane and Perth, Corrs Chambers Westgarth primarily advises clients on corporate transactions and regulatory matters in the mining sector. Brisbane partner Michael MacGinley has considerable strength in mining, oil and gas, utilities and renewable transactions and project development. In Perth, Peter Jarosek stands out for his expertise in multibillion-dollar oil & gas and mining ventures. Vaughan Mills focuses on natural resources and infrastructure projects, particularly in Papua New Guinea where he is a qualified lawyer. Anthony Arrow joined the firm from Pinsent Masons LLP in July 2020, followed by Tracey Greenaway (Perth) who joined from Allens and Anthony Lepere (Melbourne) who joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Michael MacGinley; Peter Jarosek

Other key lawyers:

Vaughan Mills; Anthony Arrow; Franka Cheung; Tracey Greenaway; Anthony Lepere


‘Franka Cheung, Special Counsel, has supported Aurizon’s Coal and Bulk haulage negotiations for over a decade. Franka’s pragmatism, deep understanding of the mining and rail industries, exceptional drafting skills and broad experience are highly valued by Aurizon. ’

‘Commercially aligned with our business outcomes’

‘Always available, commercially aligned with our business outcomes, strong knowledge of pathway to success.’

‘The team has assisted us on a highly sensitive and complex mining transaction over many years, providing invaluable consistency and corporate memory as the project has transitioned between managers. The advice provided is always cognisant of our objectives, nuanced and practical in assisting us to understand  options and adopt positions. Corrs’ role on this matter could not be replaced.’

‘Franka Cheung is invariably amiable, astute and responsive in providing advice, drafting and acting on our behalf. Her genial interpersonal style sets a collegiate or collaborative tone, even when examining or challenging views. Franka is accustomed to the State’s decision-making processes and ensures all support is provided, typically ready before we request it and conducted in a manner that minimises cost. If Franka were to transition to another team within Corrs, we make every effort to retain her services on this matter.’

‘Competitive fee arrangement, coupled with a strong team offering and depth of knowledge regarding our business.

‘Each member of the Corrs team is an excellent lawyer with cross-border transactional experience – no “weak links”. Their advice draws on that experience and is commercially focused and tailored to the transaction, our circumstances and the nature of our counterparty. The competitive fee arrangement means fantastic value for money. ’


Key clients



Woodside Energy

MACH Energy

AWE Perth Pty Ltd



NRW Holdings


Geopacific Resources Limited

Rio Tinto

Work highlights

  • Advised Resource Capital Fund VII LP on the funding of the acquisition of the Pilgangoora Lithium Mine in Western Australia.
  • Advised Geopacific Resources Limited on its successful A$150m equity raising to fund the development of its Woodlark Gold Project.
  • Advised NRW Holdings Limited on its rights and obligations throughout the voluntary administration of Gascoyne Resources Limited, and its participation in the proposed recapitalisation plan for Gascoyne, which is an owner and operator of the Dalgaranga gold mine in Western Australia.

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin’s team, divided between Sydney and Perth, utilises the firm’s corporate, regulatory and project development experience to provide advice on all aspects of mining ventures. It is particularly well-known, however, for handling complex transactions in the natural resources sector. Michael Blakiston, based in Perth, specialises in mining joint ventures, strategic alliances, and development agreements, with a particular focus on projects in Africa. Perth partner Claire Boyd has a comprehensive practice in the natural resources sector, encompassing acquisition, structuring, development, operation, and divestment of projects.

Practice head(s):

Michael Blakiston

Other key lawyers:

Claire Boyd


‘Ability to meet tight time-frames. Commercially minded. Hard-working. Ability to think globally in terms of a particular transaction/problem. Stand out partner Claire Boyd.’

‘Thorough understanding of this particular field of legal work and excellent ability to negotiate/draft workable and understandable legal agreements. Level of service and attention to detail miles ahead of other firms I have dealt with in recent past.’

Key clients

Abra Mining Pty Ltd

BCI Minerals Limited

Covalent Lithium Pty Ltd

Panoramic Resources Limited

Firefinch Limited

Tellus Holdings Ltd

Resource Capital Funds

Sandfire Resources Limited

Atlas Iron Pty Ltd

Antipa Minerals Ltd

Amur Minerals Corporation

OZ Minerals Limited

State of Papua New Guinea and its national petroleum company, Kumul Petroleum

Porgera Gold Mine

Work highlights

  • Advised Panoramic Resources Limited on its restructuring and proposed $91m recapitalisation.
  • Advised Firefinch in relation to the acquisition of the Morila Gold Mine in Mali.
  • Advised Tellus Holdings Ltd in relation to the development of the Sandy Ridge mine and waste repository project.

McCullough Robertson

With offices in Brisbane and New South Wales, McCullough Robertson’s team has significant experience in mining and minerals exploration projects, illustrated by its varied portfolio of renewable energy, oil and gas and utilities clients. It combines strength in corporate and commercial matters, such as joint ventures and M&A, with a strong working knowledge of regulatory compliance and the approvals process, particularly when projects involve environmental issues, native title and cultural heritage considerations. Damien Clarke who leads the team in Brisbane, predominantly handles M&A transactions, tax structuring and commercial arrangements in the natural resources sector. Over in New South Wales, Kate Swain stands out for her expertise in environment and planning law, with a particular focus on the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Damien Clarke; Kate Swain

Other key lawyers:

Dominic McGann


‘Provides industry leading expertise fronted by personal engagement with the lead partner in this area and very ably supported by a thorough and accurate team. Is able to provide innovative connectivity to key personnel in the government and private sectors for natural resources, energy and land-related practice matters. For the occasional work progressed to date and the medium-term future work planned has continued to maintain status quo on competitive billing rate. Thank you.’

‘The lead contact partner, Dominic McGann for Native Title and in Natural Resources is an industry leader and brings excellent strategic and connectivity – thank you.’

Key clients

Peabody Energy

Bowdens Silver

Batchfire Resources

Futura Resources

Evolution Mining

Vitrinite Pty Ltd

Bluff PCI Management Pty Ltd

New Century Resources


Aeon Metals


Bowen River Utilities

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group

Sunrise Energy Metals

Tag Oil

Square Resources

Malabar Coal

NQ Minerals

Energy Storage Pty Ltd

CS Energy

Metallica Minerals


With expertise across the mining, petroleum and LNG sectors, MinterEllison’s practice supports clients with complex commercial agreements and project development. Brisbane partner Simon Scott handled various natural resources projects over the last year, utilising his strong regulatory and transactional expertise. Adam Handley, based in Perth, has a strong reputation for advising Chinese investors providing capital to natural resources companies in Australia. In Adelaide, Andrew Corletto is a key partner, known for handling the full spectrum of corporate transactions in the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Simon Scott

Other key lawyers:

Adam Handley; Andrew Corletto; Bryn Davis


‘Proactive, solid “real-world” experience, commercial.’

‘Bryn Davis & Gemey Visscher – very commercial and pragmatic. Both partners provide timely and practical advice. ’

‘Solid resource experience coupled with wisdom. “street smart” when assisting in getting a deal done. Ability to understand my requirements and efficiently translate/draft suitable terms. Always looked after my company’s interests. With the Partner I worked extensively with, I felt comfortable that we could tackle any commercial deal whilst ensuring we were in a sound legal position.’

‘Good knowledge and understanding of Mineral Resource Industry; Solid resource experience which enabled quick understanding of customers needs/requirements; Proficient at contract drafting in a practical and sensible manner; Had the depth of experience to provide legal support during negotiations.’

‘They have a very commercial understanding and at the same time provide very solid legal advice pointing out the risks involved, however, understands clearly the commercial aspects.’

‘The individuals in the team make a great rounded team, with experience and great work ethic. They have an amazing mix of youth “grit” and experience led by very knowledgeable partners.’

‘Bryn Davis – determined to get a good result for his client. Is balanced between being commercial but also highlighting risks to his client where needed. Calm under pressure and considered in his judgement.’

Key clients

Albemarle Corporation

Anglo American

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Limited


Flinders Mines Limited

Incitec Pivot

Inpex Corporation

Jellinbah Group

Metro Mining

Noble Group

Peabody Energy

POSCO Australia

Rio Tinto



Stanwell Corporation


Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal

Yancoal Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising Albemarle on the development of a lithium hydroxide processing plant and associated infrastructure in Western Australia.
  • Represented ConocoPhillips in its farmout agreement and joint venture with 3D Oil Limited.
  • Acted for Anglo American in relation to its equalisation of ownership across the Moranbah-Grosvenor complex.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles a high volume of inbound and outbound investments in the energy and natural resources sector, leveraging its global network of offices. Practice head Alex Jones  (Perth) specialises in the acquisition, development and operation of major mining and infrastructure projects; in addition, he assists clients with business-critical commercial agreements. In Sydney, Alex Regan frequently advises clients on financing transactions facilitating major projects, including acquisition, leveraged and project finance. In Perth, James Nicholls provides core transactional support to clients, including M&A, IPOs, and fundraising.

Practice head(s):

Alex Jones

Other key lawyers:

Alex Regan; James Nicholls

Key clients

Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited

AVZ Minerals Limited

EV Metals Group plc

Nickel Mines Limited

Salt Lake Potash

Genesis Minerals Limited

Sprott Resource Lending; Sprott Inc.

Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd

Atlantic Vanadium Pty Ltd

Blue Cap Mining

Prospech Limited

Mamba Exploration Limited

Nordgold S.E.

Suez Water Pty Ltd

Salt Lake Potash

Work highlights

  • Advised Saracen Mineral Holdings on its $A16bn merger with Northern Star Resources.
  • Advised POSCO on its $240m acquisition of a 30% equity interest in the Ravensthorpe Nickel Operation.
  • Advised Nickel Mines on its A$364m, fully underwritten accelerated pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer.

Johnson Winter Slattery

Johnson Winter Slattery’s team is highly active in the mining sector, advising minerals producers and explorers on project development, capital raising, acquisitions and divestments, joint ventures and various related matters. Jee-Seon Lee has over 20 years of experience in the field, focusing on mining construction and procurement matters, which she handles alongside various upstream and downstream oil and gas projects. Bruce Adkins in Brisbane is often instructed to advise clients on negotiating and documenting new resources and infrastructure joint ventures; he is also well-versed to act on the sale and purchase of mining and energy assets. Stuart Clague  (Perth) and Andrew Wilton  (Adelaide) are also core members of the firm’s mining and projects group.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Adkins

Other key lawyers:

Jee-Seon Lee; Stuart Clague; Andrew Wilton; Anthony Groom


‘The firm offers deep Australian energy industry experience and a considerable amount of local market knowledge using their regional offices. They have demonstrated to me that they can draw on specialists from within their organisation when required for specific issues (e.g. project financing, insurance, etc). JWS is responsive and adaptable to client requirements. Their legal advice is never given in isolation of commercial and client necessities but JWS communicates the risks of various approaches well.’

‘Anthony Groom’s strength is his vast energy industry experience and superior knowledge of the relevant legislation and case law. I always feel that we have an advantage over any other lawyers in the room while he is working on a project. Anthony seems indefatigable. The quality of the work never waned and the attention to detail was always excellent. ’

‘The JWS Energy & Resources practice has a real depth of experience and is well balanced and resourced to efficiently handle transactions of any level of complexity while delivering on all client deadlines.’

‘Bruce Adkins and Stuart Clague have a great all-around combination of industry knowledge, M&A prowess, commerciality and technical discipline, which makes them unique in the E&R market. Their commitment and responsiveness to client demands are also exceptional.’

Key clients

State of South Australia

Base Resources

NewGen Kwinana Partnership

Infrastructure Capital Group

GB Energy Holdings Limited

Macmahon Holdings Ltd

MACH Energy Australia Pty Ltd

Project proponent for CopperString 2.0 Project.

Coking Coal One

HLB Man Judd

Novo Resources

Sentient Equity Partners

Origin Energy

Beach Energy

Santos Ltd.

Northern Star Resources Ltd.

3D Oil Limited

Peabody Energy


Work highlights

  • Advising Base Resources in relation to the project structuring for the construction and procurement contracting on the Toliara project.
  • Advising Novo Resources corp on the $61m acquisition of all shares in Millennium from IMC Resources.
  • Assisted GB Energy to progress the development of its landmark underground gas storage project in Gippsland, Victoria.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s team, divided between Perth and Brisbane, provides full life cycle advice to mining clients, encompassing financing, procurement, supply issues and corporate restructuring/rehabilitation. Brisbane partner Keira Brennan supports natural resources clients dealing with strategic issues and operational requirements, including negotiations before regulators. She is also well-versed to assist clients with M&A and contractual disputes. Jake Howard, based in Perth, primarily advises mining companies in relation to project finance, trade, and structured commodity finance. Gavin Scott  (Brisbane) handles the development of mining and natural resources projects, providing cohesive transactional, regulatory, and contentious advice to clients.

Practice head(s):

Keira Brennan; Jake Howard

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Scott


‘Keira Brennan and her team have an excellent reputation in this area of practice especially port & rail regulation.’

‘Great service and advice from the top down. Keen commercial eye and understanding of our business.’

‘Keira Brennan has considerable experience and commercial acumen with a client focus as do all of her team.’

Key clients

Anglo American



Multicom Resources

Arrow Energy

Tiger Resources

Golden Energy and Resources

New Hope

Castleton Commodities

Strandline Resources

Emerald Resources

Woodside Energy


Aquilla Resources




Work highlights

  • Assisting Anglo American in its $A2bn procurement project to source coal haulage services for its portfolio of coal mines in Queensland.
  • Advised Shell on its $2.5bn sale to Global Infrastructure Partners of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG Common Facilities.
  • Advised Golden Energy Resources on a $285m bond issuance to institutional investors.

Piper Alderman

Piper Alderman’s natural resources team focuses primarily on the corporate and commercial aspects of mining projects throughout Australia, including gold, uranium, coal, and phosphate ventures. It also has a niche in supporting quarrying companies extracting aggregates and sands across Australia, providing the raw materials required for construction projects. Ashley Watson, who is based in Adelaide, has a wealth of experience in gold exploration and mining projects, in which he tends to provide advice on tenements, land access, infrastructure, production and all downstream activities. Fellow Adelaide partner Sarah Clarke specialises in M&A and capital raising; she is also experienced in metals marketing and sales. Brisbane partner Josh Steele advises clients on business and asset acquisitions, capital raisings, joint ventures and operational issues.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Grieve; Ashley Watson

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Clarke; Josh Steele


‘Piper Alderman has been a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend them to anyone wishing to engage legal services in the Resources Industry. In particular, we require quick turnaround times on legal advice as our commercial deals tend to progress at a significant pace and deals/transactions can be compromised if not advanced in a timely manner. Piper Alderman has consistently met my required deadlines and turnaround times and have provided thorough and considered advice.’

‘I have mainly worked with Sarah Clarke from the Adelaide office. I have valued her input on a number of deals and transactions to ensure that all likely issues are dealt with upfront, avoiding misunderstanding and ill-feeling when potential issues are not dealt with in the appropriate documentation. Sarah has drawn on a wealth of experience to assist with both corporate transactions and compliance with regulatory bodies particularly in the public, listed company space. Her timely response to enquiries and turnaround time of documents has always been outstanding.’

‘Pragmatic, accommodating’

‘With the merger of Watsons Lawyers into the Piper Alderman practice, the depth and width of experience in Mining/Resources law is very valuable. The practice is very capable of dealing with the needs of mining and exploration companies.’

‘Sarah Clarke has a wide range of experience in servicing clients in the resources/mining industry. While I have worked with her only in a limited capacity in recent times, she always makes herself available and is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Archer Materials

Ausmon Resources

Catalyst Metals

Elementos Limited


Core Lithium

DGO Gold

Chatham Rock Phosphate

Grange Resources

Gypsum Resources Australia

Hanson Construction Materials

Havilah Resources

Lucas Total Contract Solutions

Southern Precious Metals

Pegmont Mines

PNX Metals

Prodigy Gold NL

ProspectOre Limited

Red River Resources

Resolution Minerals

Santana Minerals

Southern Gold

Work highlights

  • Advised Catalyst Metals on the acquisition of Unity Mining.
  • Assisted Southern Gold with the sale of its interests in two South Korean incorporated mineral resources joint ventures.
  • Advised ASX-listed Santana Minerals Limited on its acquisition of the Bendigo-Ophir Gold Project in New Zealand’s Otago Goldfields.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance specialises in natural resources transactions and disputes. The firm also has notable experience in niche areas, including politically sensitive energy and resources projects and commodity trading. Nadia Kalic handles numerous corporate transactions, including major acquisitions in the energy sector. On the contentious side, Sam Luttrell is the standout partner, specialising in investor-state disputes regarding natural resources ventures. Associate Philip Sealey also deserves mention given his strong credentials in project financing. Amanda Murphy stands out for her work in relation to public law challenges in the energy and natural resources field.

Practice head(s):

Nadia Kalic; Philip Sealey; Sam Luttrell

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Murphy

Key clients

Asia Development Bank

A global asset manager


Equatorial Resources Ltd

Global Infrastructure Partners

Iris Energy


Macquarie Capital

Partners Group




Dentons has considerable strength in mining, oil and gas and renewable energy transactions, leveraging its multijurisdictional expertise to assist clients with cross-border projects. Sydney partner Kym Livesley has over thirty years’ experience in corporate law, with a particular focus on handling issues arising in the mining sector. In Perth, David Perks frequently advises clients on large, complex transactions, whereas John Mollard in Melbourne is well-regarded for his expertise in foreign direct investment and M&A involving mining companies.

Practice head(s):

Kym Livesley

Other key lawyers:

David Perks; John Mollard;


‘Kym Livesley is very responsive and open to flexible fee arrangements, etc. Kym staffs the matter appropriately depending on the complexity of the matter, scope of a transaction, etc.’

‘Team is responsive, accessible and has good subject matter knowledge.’


Key clients

Centaur Resources Limited

Bougainville Copper Limited

China Minmetals

CBH Resources

GFL International Co. Ltd

Montem Resources

Nord Gold SE

International Finance Corporation

Nubian Resources

Work highlights

  • Representing Centaur Resources on its corporate and financial restructuring.
  • Advising Bougainville Copper Limited on corporate regulatory and mining issues arising from the acquisition of the Rio Tinto’s >50% shareholding by the people of Bougainville.
  • Advised IFC on the divestment of its debt and equity in Tiger Resources Ltd.

Hogan Lovells

Based in Perth, Hogan Lovells’ team is well known for assisting global companies investing in the Australian mining and natural resources market. Matthew Johnson, who is the global head of mining, specialises in M&A and securities law. Paul Shillington, who joined the firm from MinterEllison in May 2020, stands out due to his reputation in joint ventures, project governance, risk management, procurement, and dispute resolution. Associate Michael Brady is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Johnson; Paul Shillington

Other key lawyers:

Michael Brady

Key clients

Allied Gold Corp

Peninsula Energy Limited

Kansai Electric Power Company

Work highlights

  • Advising Allied Gold on its acquisition of Société d’Exploitation des Mines d’Or de Sadiola S.A..
  • Advised Allied Gold on the refinancing of the Bonikro and Hire Gold Mines and the financing of the Sadiola Gold Mine.
  • Advising Allied on its acquisition of Endeavour Resources Inc.

Jones Day

Headquartered in Brisbane, Jones Day advises government bodies, major oil companies, developers and financial institutions in connection with M&A, financing transactions, foreign investment laws and commercial agreements, particularly in the mining and oil and gas sectors. Andrew Smith (Brisbane) focuses primarily on downstream issues, project financing, acquisitions, and disposals, primarily in the context of coal, oil and gas and electricity projects. Tony Wassaf (Sydney) is very invested in the mining industry, having advised numerous clients on legislative and policy issues, joint ventures and corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Smith

Other key lawyers:

Tony Wassaf


‘Tony Wassaf is an exceptional lawyer. His advice is commercially sound and outcome directed.’

‘The complimentary webinars are interesting and useful.’

Key clients

SSR Mining Inc.

Sheffield Resources Ltd

Wanguo International Mining Group Limited

Big Ben Holdings Pty Limited

Rehabit Solar Pty Ltd

Energy & Minerals Group Fund

Cress Power Pty Ltd

Hydro Tasmania

Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised SSR Mining on its scrip for scrip merger-of-equals with Alacer Gold Corp. to create a $A6.4bn group.
  • Advised Big Ben and acted on the purchase of coal importer shares in Port Waratah Coal Services Ltd from Tomen Panama Asset Management S.A.
  • Advised Sheffield Resources on the forming of 50:50 joint venture in respect of the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project and associated tenements.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs covers the entire value chain in the energy and natural resources sector, providing support in relation to the transactional and regulatory aspects of mining, energy and utilities projects. Recently, the team has focused on advising companies on supply chain issues and changes to the foreign investment rules. Simon Adams handles corporate and commercial matters, including the competition aspects of M&A transactions. Caroline Brown is a go-to lawyer for energy and natural resources clients engaged in disputes before the Supreme and Federal Courts; she also advises clients regarding arbitration and mediation.

Other key lawyers:

Simon Adams; Caroline Brown; Simon Rear

Key clients

Aust Sino Resources Group Limited

Detour Gold Corporation

Itochu Corporation

Pareto Securities

Thiess Pty Ltd

YGH Australia Investments Pty Ltd

McKay Drilling

Lawson Grains

Boral Group

White & Case

White & Case‘s practice is led by seasoned lawyers Andrew Clark, Brendan Quinn and John Tivey and provides ‘great industry knowledge and experience‘. Its expertise covers mining, metals (including gold and copper) and oil and gas. Its global coverage is notable; in addition to Australia, its mandates include Asia and beyond (current work is ongoing in Indonesia and the DRC.) Tivney has over 30 years of experience advising on large-scale mining and metals projects while Jared Muller has considerable experience of the preparation and negotiation of project documents including off-take and supply agreements. The natural resources work is combined with the firm’s outstanding reputation for project development, construction and project finance. The team now also includes Christopher Flynn who joined from Gilbert + Tobin.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Clark; Brendan Quinn; John Tivey

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Flynn; Jared Muller


‘White and Case think of how best they can help the client. So in many ways it is the client that leads on this aspect. This has been helpful as they have remained flexible. We required a mix of secondees and staff here beside us which they helped with.’

‘Real experience in the area. We required genuine understanding of the industry which they had in spades.’

‘Great industry knowledge and experience. Relevant partners have worked for companies in the industry.’

‘John Tivey – experienced resources practitioner Rebecca Campbell – experienced resources practitioner.’

Key clients

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

MMG Limited

Zijin Mining

Hana Financial Investment

Merricks Capital

Nexif Energy

Amp Power Australia

Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd

Future Global Resources Limited

China Molybdenum (CMOC)

Electrum Strategic Opportunities Fund II LP (Electrum)

Société Générale

Macquarie Group

AusNet Services Group

ElectraNet Pty Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd in relation to all aspects of the USD$4 billion Burrup Urea Plant.
  • Representation of Future Global Resources Limited in its acquisition of Bogoso Holdings Limited and its subsidiary, Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Limited, a gold mining company in Ghana.
  • Assisting CMOC in its acquisition of the Kisanfu copper-cobalt deposit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Freeport-McMoran Inc.