Rated as one of the top mining and metals practices in the country, Cescon Barrieu is singled out for its ‘deep knowledge of the sector‘, which makes it well placed to advise on the full array of mandates, ranging from consequential M&A and financing deals to administrative and judicial proceedings. The Belo Horizonte-based team is the first port of call for some of the largest mining companies operating in Brazil and several financial institutions. Crisis management matters and tailing dams-related regulatory issues are other core areas of focus. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Marcelo Mendo Gomes De Souza is a reference in the mining market. He oversees the practice with regulatory and transactional expert Maurício Pellegrino De Souza, whose previous in-house and academic experience is noteworthy; Paula Azevedo De Castro, who is regularly instructed by key mining players in relation to mining dam regulations; and Daniel Ribeiro Pettersen, a contact for real estate and mining contractual matters. Senior associate João Raso regularly works on tax issues and mining assets transactions.
Mining in Brazil
Marcelo Mendo Gomes de Souza; Maurício Pellegrino de Souza; Paula Azevedo de Castro; Daniel Ribeiro Pettersen
‘The firm has a highly differentiated technical team capable of meeting all demands related to the mining sector. A lot of commitment to deadlines, and in-depth knowledge of the clients’ business.’
‘Paula Azevedo is recommended.’
‘Marcelo Mendo de Souza and Mauricio Pellegrino stand out.’
‘Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados is among the top three mining law firms in the country. They are totally focused on the business, and have a deep knowledge of the sector.’
‘Marcelo Mendo is one of the main names in mining in the country. He has been part of many transactions involving mining law, and is qualified to resolve any and all matters in the area.’
Appian Capital Advisory
- Advised Vale on transactional deals related to its mining rights.
- Advised Aura Minerals on the acquisition of 100% of the issued and outstanding common stock of Big River Gold.
- Assisted Vallourec in crisis management following the tailing dam accident that occurred in January 2022.
Bringing together over 35 years of experience in the mining sector, Pinheiro Neto Advogados is a popular choice for key industry players seeking advice on high-end deals, and the ever-changing environmental and regulatory scenario. The team is particularly adept in M&A, investments and debt transactions, including alternative methods of financing, but also excels in crisis management, permitting matters and litigation. Mining law and government relations specialist Carlos Vilhena ‘has extensive experience in the mining area, serving both smaller companies and large multinational corporations‘; he maintains a broad practice encompassing mining policy and regulations, contractual matters and corporate transactions. In addition to advising on M&A and financing mandates, senior associate Marina Bertucci Ferreira also assists clients with the development of policies and on the impact of new regulation.
‘Pinheiro Neto Advogados produces opinions with added value, as they are always unquestionably in line with the most recent legislation pertinent to the issues raised. In addition, the team produces documents and contracts in compliance with best practices, but always seeking the best interest of the client.’
‘Carlos Vilhena has extensive experience in the mining area, serving both smaller companies and large multinational corporations.’
‘Highly qualified team.’
Kinross Gold Corporation
La Mancha Capital Advisory
China Molybdenum (CMOC)
Fortescue Metals Group
- Acted as Brazilian counsel to Yamana Gold in its acquisition by Goldfields.
- Advised The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) on the fourth amended and restated credit agreement between borrowers Lundin Mining Corporation and Lundin Mining and the joint lenders.
- Advised Franco-Nevada Corporation and La Mancha Capital Advisory on the project financing for the construction of the Tocantinzinho Gold Project.
Based in Rio de Janeiro, Veirano Advogados‘ mining team has the breadth of expertise to handle a tremendous range and volume of transactional, regulatory, projects and contentious work for a variety of industry players. The firm – a first choice for high-end mining assets transactions, project financing, and administrative proceedings – stands out for its capabilities in cross-border mining deals, often working in collaboration with market-leading firms in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe and Australia. Practice head Pedro Garcia, whose experience covers commercial agreements and environmental issues, is a name to note for multi-jurisdictional deals; he oversees the mining group, which benefits from a close relationship with the firm’s real estate, tax, environmental and IP departments. Associate Antonio Albani Siqueira routinely advises on the structuring, implementation and operation of mining projects throughout the country.
South Star Battery Metals
Orion Resource Partners (USA)
Norsk Hydro Group
Yara Brasil Fertilizantes
Anglogold Ashanti Córrego do Sítio Mineração
Kinross Gold Corporation
BMO Capital Markets
Imerys do Brasil Comércio de Extração de Minérios
Lundin Mining Corporation
Fomento do Brasil Mineração
UMS United Mining Services Group
- Advised Goldman Sachs on the offering by Ero Copper Corp of $400m of Senior Notes due 2030, which were unconditionally guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by Ero’s Mineração Caraíba subsidiary.
- Advised South Star Battery Metals on the definitive metals purchase and sale agreement entered with Sprott Private Resource Streaming and Royalty (B) Corp.
- Assisting Orion Resource Partners and Vox Royalty in all legal aspects related to the potential acquisition of the Anglo American debentures related to the Minas Rio iron ore project, in the context of the MMX bankruptcy proceedings.
At Mattos Filho, the mining practice provides comprehensive advice to its corporate client roster, but is perhaps best known for its transactional capabilities, which see it act for major mining companies in M&A, corporate restructurings, project finance, capital markets deals as well as royalty and streaming deals. Regulatory and ESG-related mandates also feature in the team’s workload, which is further populated by policy-making and legislative matters. The highly recommended Adriano Drummond Cançado Trindade has a wealth of experience in the mining industry, advising on regulatory issues, contracts, projects and transactions. He is based in the Brasília office, and receives key support from São Paulo-based associate Eugênia Pedroso, who focuses on mining and energy transactional matters, including cross-border deals.
‘Proximity to the client (and to the business) and technical quality of all professionals.’
‘Traditional firm with an avant-garde vision of the legal market. Technical qualification, excellence in service. Agility in responses.’
‘Adriano Trindade stands out.’
G Mining Ventures
Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio – CBA
Norsk Hydro ASA
Pan American Silver
New Wave Tech (Lorinvest)
Osisko Gold Royalties
- Advised Ero Copper on the Brazilian law aspects of the $400m offer of Senior Notes due 2030, as well as on the review of the key assets of Mineração Caraíba– MCSA (guarantor of the offer) and NX Gold.
- Assisted Horizonte Minerals in the review of documents governed by Brazilian law related to a funding package of $633m that would complete the funding required for the development of the Araguaia nickel project in Pará.
- Assisted Pan American Silver in the potential acquisition of Yamana Gold.
William Freire Advogados
Boutique firm William Freire Advogados is well positioned to handle a litany of mining matters, including complex regulatory mandates, mining due diligence, cross-border transactions and the full life-cycle of mining projects. Administrative and judicial proceedings are other areas of activity for the firm, which is based in Belo Horizonte, Brasília and São Paulo. The highly regarded William Freire continues to advise on high-profile contractual issues, crisis management and litigation, while Tiago De Mattos specialises in deals involving mining assets, and often assists clients in interactions with regulatory bodies.
Tiago de Mattos; William Freire
‘Tiago Mattos, Bruno Feitosa, Bruno Costa and Caio Gomes are all excellent.’
‘Tiago Matos and Ana Maria are distinguished as professionals.’
‘Reference in mining matters.’
Kinross Brasil Mineração
Grupo Imerys (Imerys Rio Capim Caulim; Imerys do Brasil Comércio e Extração de Minérios e Pará Pigmentos)
Grupo Gerdau (Gerdau Açominas; Gerdau Aços Longos e Gerdau Aços Especiais)
Grupo RHI Magnesita (Magnesita Mineração e Magnesita Refratários)
Led by Leonardo Pereira Lamego, the practice at Azevedo Sette Advogados offers assistance to domestic and international clients across the entire spectrum of Brazilian mining law matters. On the transactional front, the Belo Horizonte-based group is often engaged by buyers and sellers in joint ventures and deals involving mining assets. It is also well placed to assess the legal implications and economic risks of potential and current mining projects developed in Brazil. Practice head Lamego has over two decades of experience in environmental and mining law. The department also includes Ana Paula Terra Caldeira, a key contact for M&A and commercial agreements within the mining industry, and senior associate Svetlana Maria De Miranda, an environmental law specialist. Associates Fernanda Nunes and Gabriela Nasser, who bring together experience in litigation, administrative proceedings and regulatory matters, are also part of the core team.
Leonardo Pereira Lamego
Large Mining Company
An International Trade Company
Sintertec Minerais Industriais
Empresa De Mineração Badin
Graphite Company (Graphcoa)
- Assisted Vale in the negotiations of the environmental settlement agreement regarding the tailings dam collapse in Brumadinho.
- Assisting and defending Samarco in lawsuits involving fines applied by IBAMA (the Federal Environmental Agency) regarding the tailings dam collapse in Mariana.
- Advises Yamana Gold on a range of mining regulatory issues.
Covering the gold, copper, iron, aluminium and nickel segments, Demarest Advogados acts for mining and metals companies in strategic M&A, joint ventures and commercial agreements. The multidisciplinary team, which blends corporate, finance and tax expertise, has notable experience in administrative appeals related to infraction notices and forfeiture procedures, and environmental and insurance matters in the context of mining incidents. Practice co-head Izabella Reis, who was welcomed to the partnership in January 2023, is a key contact for mining regulations, due diligence, mining concessions and litigation. Fellow co-leader Thiago Maia, who concentrates his practice on M&A and private equity deals, is particularly active in the acquisition and divestment of mining assets. Co-chair Paulo Coelho da Rocha is another practitioner to note for M&A and corporate governance. Guilherme Kawano stands out at the associate level.
Paulo Rocha; Thiago Maia; Izabella Reis
Eliane – Revestimentos Cerâmicos
Tronox Pigmentos do Brasil
Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA)
- Acted as Brazilian counsel to Syntagma Capital in the acquisition of most of Imerys’ assets which produce kaolin, ground calcium carbonate (GCC), precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) and talc.
- Advised Tronox Pigmentos on the regulatory aspects related to the closure of the Guaju Mine located in the state of Paraíba.
- Assisted Eliane in a contentious matter involving a mine exploitation permit.
Notes for ‘its ability to advise on all fronts of a mining project‘, Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados‘ core strengths cut across regulatory, contractual, financing and M&A matters. The firm – which benefits from a strong network of offices based in key financial hubs (São Paulo and New York), mining hotspots (Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro), and the Brazilian legislative centre (Brasília) – acts for a varied client roster, including major mining companies, investors and financiers, which also seek advice on strategic litigation cases involving mining regulations. Focused on infrastructure projects and natural resources, Pedro Henrique Jardim frequently handles financing deals and regulatory issues. He jointly heads up the team with finance, tax and foreign trade specialist Liliam Fernanda Yoshikawa, a key contact for clients operating in regulated sectors.
Pedro Henrique Jardim; Liliam Fernanda Yoshikawa
‘Machado Meyer stands out among Brazilian full-service firms for its ability to advise on all fronts of a mining project.’
‘In particular, I highlight the performance of Liliam Yoshikawa, both in project finance and in leading the Machado Meyer team. There is great internal communication and and a tailor-made service, and no unnecessary emails or discussions.’
‘Liliam Yoshikawa excels in all legal fronts of a project and delivers a high quality product.’
Dolomita Industria e Comercio de Calcario
Itochu Corporation/Itochu Brasil
China Steel Corporation
JFE Steel Corporation
Buritirama Manganês / Grupo Buritipar
Sumitomo Corporation do Brasil
Japão Brasil Minério de Ferro Participações – JBMF
- Assisted Dolomita Industria e Comercio de Calcario in a lawsuit against the National Mining Agency (ANM) and one of its competitors, Britacal.
- Advised J&F Mineração on the closing and post-closing matters of the acquisition of 100% of the shares issued by three companies from their direct and indirect controller Vale.
- Assisting Samarco Mineração in managing the environmental and humanitarian crisis created by the collapse of its Fundão dam.
Rolim Goulart Cardoso Advogados
Rolim Goulart Cardoso Advogados combines extensive experience in environmental and regulatory matters with in-depth knowledge of the mining sector. The team, which is based in Belo Horizonte, particularly excels in litigation at the judicial and administrative levels, where it acts for domestic and foreign mining companies with operations throughout the country. Thiago Pastor Alves Pereira, who heads up the environmental and mining teams, possesses over 15 years of experience in this space. Fabio Appendino handles M&A, reorganisations and other corporate law matters, with a special emphasis on the mining sector. Marcus Vinicius Neves Vaz coordinates the mining and environmental practices.
Thiago Pastor Alves Pereira
‘The office has great knowledge of environmental and mining legislation, transmits confidence in advice and has vast experience in judgments in the administrative and judicial spheres.’
‘I’d highlight Thiago Pastor Alves Pereira and Marcus Vinícius Neves Vaz.’
Kinross Brasil Mineração
State of Minas Gerais Development Agency (CODEMGE)
Consórcio UHE Guilman Amorim (ArcelorMittal and Samarco)
Mineração Serra do Cabral (MSC)
Indústria de Calcinação (ICAL)
Piauí Niquel Metais
Copérnico Energias Renováveis
- Assisted Consórcio UHE Guilman Amorim (ArcelorMittal and Samarco) in a matter before the National Mining Agency (ANM) involving mining exploitation permits and energy use.
- Assists Mining Serra do Cabral in compliance, temporary suspension of mining operations and strategic evaluation with potential partners.
- Assists Piaui Nickel Metais in several matters concerning the Piauí Nickel Project (PNP) in North East Brazil.
Belo Horizonte-based practice Sion Advogados is sought after by mid-size and major mining companies in matters involving the implementation and operation of projects, strategic transactions and compliance. Founding partner Alexandre Sion specialises in mining and environmental law; he leads the practice with Bernardo Pessoa, who has a strong track record in commercial and corporate transactions in the mining sector. Luiza Guerra handles environmental and mining matters, covering litigation and non-contentious work.