Firms To Watch: Mining

Under the joint leadership of Marcello Ribeiro Lima Filho , Bruno Feigelson  and Bruno Feigelson , Lima ≡ Feigelson Advogados has ‘extensive knowledge in various areas of law’, showcasing sector-specific proficiency in judicial and administrative proceedings, as well as contractual matters concerning mining rights and projects.
The ‘brilliantEduardo Junqueira de Oliveira Martins  heads up the mining practice at Tanzilli Sociedade de Advogados, which is well versed in land use matters, cross-border M&A, contractual and tax law issues pertaining to the mining sector.

Mining in Brazil

Cescon Barrieu

Cescon Barrieu is rated for its deep bench and strong transactional and regulatory expertise, working on many of the most high-profile corporate deals taking place in the Brazilian mining and metals sector. Besides handling high-stakes M&A, the team – which operates from the Belo Horizonte office – also offers advice to the largest mining companies operating in the country at all stages of financing transactions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and administrative and judicial litigation. In addition, the team is particularly noted for its crisis management capabilities, having assisted mining clients in regulatory issues pertaining to the construction, permitting and decommissioning of tailings dams. Standing out for his longstanding track record in regulatory, contractual and crisis management matters, Marcelo Mendo Gomes De Souza is a leading authority in this field. Frederico Viana Rodrigues is noted for transactional matters involving mining assets, including project financing and public offering of shares and bonds. Frederico Marques is another individual to note for transactional work, especially alternative financing and M&A; he oversees the work undertaken by the Toronto office. With almost 20 years of experience in mining and environmental law, Maurício Pellegrino De Souza assists clients with corporate, commercial, environmental and regulatory mandates. Paula Azevedo De Castro, who was recently promoted to partner, is a key contact for mining dam regulations.

Practice head(s):

Marcelo Mendo Gomes de Souza; Frederico Viana Rodrigues; Maurício Pellegrino de Souza; Paula Azevedo de Castro

Key clients

Appian Capital Advisory LLP

4B Mining Corp

Lundin Mining

Nomad Royalties

Gerdau

Mineração Morro do Ipê

Samarco Mineração

Votorantim Group (Nexa Resources)

Anglo American

InterCement

Aura Minerals

Vale

Work highlights

  • Acting for Appian Capital Advisory in the sale of its mining operations to Sibanye Stillwater.
  • Assisted Gerdau in obtaining a decision allowing it to continue to operate Alemães, an upstream tailing dam, in connection with its decommissioning project.
  • Provided regulatory advice to Samarco on the decommissioning of the Germano tailing dam.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Highlighted for its ‘excellent knowledge of the mining sector', Pinheiro Neto Advogado acts for a strong client base comprised of market-leading mining companies with investments and projects located in Brazil and overseas. The firm’s longstanding reputation in this space sees it frequently acting in various public and private M&A deals, debt transactions and alternative financing, including royalties and streaming transactions. The Brasília-based team is also well positioned to advise clients in complex regulatory matters, crisis management, litigation and environmental permitting. More recently, the practice has been focusing on guiding mining and metals sector clients throughout their cultural transformation triggered by the ESG, decarbonisation and energy transition agendas. With extensive experience in mining policy and regulation, Carlos Vilhena ‘is an excellent professional with vast knowledge and recognition in Brazil and other countries'. Senior associate Filipe Morais Cunha maintains a broad practice, but demonstrates particular strength in contractual, regulatory and environmental issues. Marina Bertucci Ferreira is another name to note at the associate level; she is often seen advising clients on the development of policies and the impacts of public policies on specific projects.

Testimonials

‘Pinheiro Neto Advogados is a firm with excellent professionals recognised in Brazil and other countries. Professionals with high technical capacity in the various fields of law. Competence, transparency, delivery, commitment and quality in services. Excellent interpersonal relationship.’

‘Carlos Vilhena is an excellent professional with vast knowledge and recognition in Brazil and other countries. Filipe Morais Cunha is recommended for his technical quality, competence, and interpersonal skills.’

‘My experience with Pinheiro Neto’s office and team in Brasilia has been very positive. They have excellent knowledge of the mining sector.’

‘My main contact is Carlos Vilhena. He is highly recommended; fluent in English; takes the initiative to find a solution; very intelligent. I found him to be well connected with the Brazilian ministries and governmental agencies. A good partner and someone I rely on and feel comfortable discussing strategy with.’

‘Prompt response to every requirement.’

‘In my opinion, the high and incomparable technical knowledge, as well as the excellent service, make Pinheiro Neto and its mining team, led by Carlos Vilhena, the best law firm in Brazil. There is an ability to follow trends, and with that to present the client with the safest legal solutions.’

‘PN Advogados is distinguished by the reliability of the services provided, and by the accuracy of legal opinions in other languages, particularly English.’

‘Carlos Augusto Vilhena and Filipe Morais Cunha are recommended.’

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Yamana Gold

Kinross Gold Corporation

Appian Capital

Heineken

Great Panther Mining

China Molybdenum Corp (CMOC)

Ero Copper Corp

Fortescue Metals Group

Royal Gold

Work highlights

  • Advised Orion in three complex investment and debt transactions involving mining assets in Brazil.
  • Advised Hochschild on the acquisition of Amarillo.
  • Provided assistance to Heineken in litigation involving third parties, which claim ownership over Heineken’s water wells in the city of Alagoinhas.

Veirano Advogados

Praised by clients for its ‘knowledge of the mining market in several jurisdictions', Veirano Advogados enjoys a strong reputation in this space as a result of more than four decades of experience acting for mining companies in their most relevant projects and transactions in Brazil and abroad. On the transactional front, the practice is particularly active in high-value deals involving the acquisition of mining assets and mineral rights, and project financing. The team’s service offering goes beyond capital markets, debt transactions and M&A, and also includes administrative proceedings before mining authorities, and litigation concerning access to mining sites and protection against illegal actions by local communities. Given the firm’s full-service capabilities, the mining team often interacts with other departments - including environmental, real estate and tax - and works in close collaboration with the IP practice providing specialised assistance in patent registration and the protection of equipment and procedures related to the mining sector. Pedro Garcia oversees the group out of the Rio de Janeiro office; he brings together experience in cross-border transactions, commercial agreements and environmental issues for mining ventures. Also based in Rio, Antonio Albani Siqueira assists clients with the structuring, implementation and operation of mining projects.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Garcia

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the mining market in several jurisdictions.’

‘I would highlight Pedro Garcia.’

‘Veirano is a multidisciplinary firm that works on several fronts.’

‘Pedro is helpful and understands the client’s needs.’

Key clients

Equinox Gold

Yara Brasil Fertilizantes

BMO Capital Markets

Goldman Sachs

Imerys do Brasil Comércio de Extração de Minérios

Lundin Mining Corporation

Anglogold Ashanti Córrego do Sítio Mineração

Águia Fertilizantes

Norsk Hydro Group

Paranapanema

Goldwind International

Fomento do Brasil Mineração

Columbus Gold

Renobrax Energias Renováveis

Laomi Exploration Pty

UMS United Mining Services Group

Maverix Metals

Vox Royalty

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)

Lee Gold

Hoschild Mining

Nexa

Ferrous

Work highlights

  • Advised BMO Capital Markets on the $1bn sale by Appian Capital Advisory of its Brazilian battery metals-focused portfolio companies Atlantic Nickel and Mineração Vale Verde to Sibanye-Stillwater.
  • Assisted Yara Brasil Fertilizantes in the $410m sale of its Salitre phosphate mining project in the city of Serra do Salitre to EuroChem Comércio de Produtos Químicos.
  • Advised on Ero Copper’s inaugural US offering of $400m aggregate principal amount of 6.50% notes due 2030.

Mattos Filho

Brazilian and international mining companies of all sizes seek Mattos Filho‘ legal assistance in the full scope of mining matters, with an emphasis on M&A deals, financing transactions and strategic minerals projects. In addition to its strength in M&A and financing deals, the team – which sits within the infrastructure and energy group – is equipped to assist mining clients with joint ventures, corporate restructurings, commercial agreements, and royalty and streaming transactions. Based in Brasília, Adriano Drummond Cançado Trindade is the main point of contact for mining mandates, steering the team in a range of M&A, financing, contractual and ESG-related matters applicable to mining projects. His experience also extends to the policy-making and legislative sphere, having assisted governments and advised on capacity building programmes concerning resources and mining law in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. Eugênia Pedroso is a contact in São Paulo for infrastructure projects, private equity and regulatory mining matters.

Key clients

Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio – CBA

Ero Copper

EuroChem Group

G Mining Ventures

Horizonte Minerals

Metalla Royalty & Streaming

Mineração Caraíba

ArcelorMittal Brasil

Nexa Resources

Serra Verde Pesquisa e Mineração

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ero Copper and NX Gold in a gold streaming transaction reflected in the Precious Metals Purchase Agreement entered into by RGLD Gold and Ero Gold.
  • Had a leading role on advising EuroChem Group on all Brazilian legal aspects of the acquisition of the Serra do Salitre phosphate mining project.
  • Assisted G Mining Ventures in the acquisition of the total stake owned by Eldorado Gold Corporation in Brazauro Recursos Minerais.

William Freire Advogados

Covering the entire spectrum of mining matters, boutique firm William Freire Advogados particularly excels in regulatory issues pertaining to the sector, and has the ability to advise clients throughout the life cycle of a mining project, from acquisition to expansion and closure. The team, which is ‘a reference in mining in Brazil', has a wealth of experience acting for investors in complex regulatory mandates, mining due diligence, cross-border transactions and the strategic management of mineral assets. Its environmental law expertise is also noteworthy, as is its ability to marry expertise in administrative proceedings and litigation. Based in both São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, William Freire is a notable practitioner in the market. He has a deep understanding of M&A, contractual issues and crisis management, but also provides assistance in the context of administrative and judicial cases. Recommended for both non-contentious and contentious matters in the mining sector, Tiago De Mattos's specialisms encompass transactions involving mining assets, proceedings before regulatory bodies, governance and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Tiago de Mattos; William Freire

Testimonials

‘William Freire is a reference in mining in Brazil. Great, skillful, competent and very technical. Excellent interpersonal relationship.’

‘Extensive knowledge of the sector, agility, availability and technical quality.’

‘Committed, specialised and extremely competent and up-to-date team.’

‘Deep technical knowledge and practicality.’

‘Firm with excellent professionals and a lot of technical knowledge of the matter.’

‘I have full confidence in the technical quality and consistent delivery of the firm in mining matters.’

‘I would like to highlight partner Tiago de Mattos, who stands out for his ability to create solutions for complex issues.’

Key clients

CMOC International

Mineração Usiminas

Equinox Gold

Kinross Brasil Mineração

Mosaic Company

Grupo Imerys

AngloGold Ashanti

Grupo Gerdau

Bahia Mineração

Largo Resources

Grupo RHI Magnesita

Work highlights

  • Advises Mineração Usiminas on strategic legal and regulatory  issues involving the expansion of the company’s iron project in Minas Gerais.
  • Advises Bahia Mineração on negotiations involving land and mining titles swap regarding the Pedra de Ferro Project.

Azevedo Sette Advogados

Leading domestic and international mining companies operating in Brazil regularly turn to Azevedo Sette Advogados' mining group for advice on transactions, projects and regulatory issues. Litigation, administrative proceedings and environmental matters are other areas of activity for the team, which is also noted for its experience in M&A deals involving mining assets. The team, which is located in the Belo Horizonte office, is under the leadership of Leonardo Pereira Lamego. He receives key support from associates Svetlana Maria De Miranda and Gabriela Salazar Silva Pinto, both of whom focus on environmental and mining law.

Practice head(s):

Leonardo Pereira Lamego

Testimonials

‘Highly trained and technically prepared team.’

Key clients

Vale

Samarco

Nexa Resources

The Forest

Jaguar Mining

Yamana Gold

Angloamerican

Cymi

J. Mendes

Sintertec Minerais Industriais

Carmeuse

Work highlights

  • Assisted Vale in the negotiations of an environmental settlement agreement regarding the tailings dam collapse in Brumadinho.
  • Defending Samarco in lawsuits involving fines applied by IBAMA (Federal Environmental Agency) regarding the tailings dam collapse in Mariana in 2015.
  • Advises Yamana Gold on several mining aspects regarding its activities and provides legal assistance on a range of mining regulatory issues.

Borba, Simões Barbosa, Bessone e Cristofaro Advogados

Domestic and foreign clients engaged in an array of mining projects regularly turn to Borba, Simões Barbosa, Bessone e Cristofaro Advogados for assistance with project development, M&A, joint ventures, royalty agreements and environmental licensing. The practice, which is based in Rio de Janeiro, is led by Virgilio Cezar De Moraes Borba, a key contact in the market for non-contentious matters and litigation. Transactional work and commercial agreements are overseen by Daniela Bessone.

Demarest Advogados

Created in 2015, the mining department at Demarest Advogados has been advising major players in the industry in complex mandates, including transactional and regulatory issues. Drawing on the firm’s offering across corporate, tax, capital markets, projects, public law and environment, the team is prepared to handle M&A, joint ventures and project finance matters. On the regulatory front, it has been especially active representing clients in administrative proceedings related to infraction notices and forfeiture procedures before the National Mining Agency. Practice leader Thiago Maia has a strong background in M&A, private equity and other corporate transactions involving mining assets. M&A and corporate governance lawyer Paulo Coelho da Rocha is another name to note for Brazilian and international mining companies.

Practice head(s):

Thiago Maia; Paulo Coelho da Rocha

Testimonials

‘Demarest is a full-service firm that understands the issues at hand and comes up with the most appropriate solutions.’

‘Demarest has provided a service of absolute excellence to our company. I highlight the ability of professionals to impressively absorb the specificities of complex issues for which they are asked to give an opinion.’

‘I believe that the main distinguishing factor from other firms is the way in which they are involved in the demands. There is a strong feeling of ownership, and real concern with achieving goals.’

Key clients

Vale

Imerys

CRH

Eliane – Revestimentos Cerâmicos

Tronox Pigmentos do Brasil

Saint-Gobain do Brasil Produtos Industriais e Para Construção

São Martinho

CSN

CSP – COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA DO PECEM

Gerdau

Work highlights

  • Advised CRH on the sale of its Brazilian cement business to BCPAR.

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is experienced in a broad range of M&A and financing work on behalf of mining and metals clients in Brazil. The team has notable strength acting for mining companies and investors in the structuring in projects, business and financing transactions, as well as regulatory matters. Strategic litigation cases involving mining regulations also feature in the team’s recent workload. The team is under the joint leadership of Pedro Henrique Jardim, who focuses on infrastructure projects and natural resources and is counsel of choice for the firm’s core mining clientele, and Liliam Yoshikawa, whose expertise includes contractual matters and cross-border deals in the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Henrique Jardim; Liliam Yoshikawa

Testimonials

‘Machado Meyer’s mining practice has lots of expertise in a wide variety of subjects, including M&A, project development, project financing and litigation. It also has a lot of experience in very complex and large projects.’

‘Individuals have shown a wide variety of knowledge in the subject matter, and seem to know a lot about the commercial side of mining,, which has proven to be extremely useful.’

Key clients

Vale

Itochu Corporation/Itochu Brasil

China Steel Corporation

JFE Steel Corporation

Grupo Buritipar

Gerdau Açominas

Dolomita Industria e Comercio de Calcário

Mineração Usiminas

Mineração Samarco

CEFAR – Companhia de Mineração Serra da Farofa

Sibanye Stillwater Limited

Mineração Geral do Brasil

Vale

Itochu Corporation/Itochu Brasil

China Steel Corporation

JFE Steel Corporation

Grupo Buritipar

Gerdau Açominas

Dolomita Industria e Comercio de Calcário

Mineração Usiminas

Mineração Samarco

CEFAR – Companhia de Mineração Serra da Farofa

Sibanye Stillwater

Mineração Geral do Brasil

Work highlights

  • Advised Sibanye Stillwater on the acquisition of the Santa Rita and Serrote mines.
  • Assisted the underwriters and minority shareholders (Itochu, POSCO and China Steel Company) in the primary and secondary public offer for distribution of common shares of CSN Mineração.
  • Assisted Banco BTG Pactual in the first issuance of debentures of Aura Almas Mineração.

Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados

Focused on preventive consultancy, Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados is a popular choice for mining companies involved in transactional, regulatory and environmental matters. In addition to assisting clients with relevant mining projects and operations in all regions in Brazil, the Belo Horizonte-based team is also well placed to advise them in their international ventures, especially those with ties to Portugal and Germany. Contractual disputes and administrative litigation are other strong points for the practice, which is led by mining and environmental law specialist Thiago Pastor Alves Pereira. Marcus Vinicius Neves Vaz is another key individual in the team; his expertise covers mining law, sustainability and environmental matters.

Practice head(s):

Thiago Pastor Alves Pereira

Key clients

Kinross Brasil Mineração

State of Minas Gerais Development Agency (CODEMGE)

Mosaic Fertilizantes

AngloGold Ashanti

Coca-Cola Femsa

Consórcio UHE Guilman Amorim (ArcelorMittal and Samarco)

Mineração Serra do Cabral (MSC)

Indústria de Calcinação (ICAL)

Brazilian Nickel

Piauí Niquel Metais

Work highlights

  • Assisted Mosaic Fertilizantes in relation to legal requirements for tailing dams’ control and safety, due to recent regulatory changes.
  • Advised Kinross Brasil Mineração on the regularisation of activities concerning mining projects.
  • Assisted Coca-Cola FEMSA in relation to the regularisation of mineral water exploration.

Sion Advogados

Alexandre Sion leads the team at Sion Advogados, which is equipped to handle a range of mining matters, with a special emphasis on regulatory issues, compliance and mining rights. The team provides legal support in the implementation of mining projects, and is also often sought after in due diligence and M&A transactions taking place in the mining and metals sectors. Practice head Sion is particularly experienced in large-scale infrastructure projects and environmental law. He is based in Belo Horizonte, where Bernardo Pessoa is also sought by clients engaged in commercial transactions and contractual disputes.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Sion

Testimonials

‘The great differential of Sion Advogados is the partners, Alexandre Sion and Bernardo Pessoa, who have decades of experience in large-scale projects. The corporate business vision applied to legal operations contributes to the success of transactions. In addition, partners are always available and engaged in deals.’

‘Bernardo Pessoa has in-depth technical and working knowledge of the courts.’

Siqueira Castro – Advogados

Siqueira Castro – Advogados is trusted by domestic and foreign companies throughout the mining value chain seeking support in relation to due diligence, commercial agreements, M&A and dispute resolution. With a great geographical footprint across Brazil, the firm is also seasoned in administrative litigation and regulatory issues pertaining to the mining sector. Luiz Fernando Visconti, who heads the department, demonstrates particular strength in greenfield projects, business transactions within the mining segment and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Luiz Fernando Visconti

Key clients

OZ Minerals

AVB Mineração

Atlântica do Brasil Mineração

Valore Metals

Paranapanema

FERBAZA – Cia. De Ferros Ligas da Bahia