Mining in Brazil
Borba, Simões Barbosa, Bessone e Cristofaro Advogados
At Borba, Simões Barbosa, Bessone e Cristofaro Advogados, mining and environmental law stand out as twin pillars of the practice. The group, which routinely acts for major Brazilian and multinational clients, has deep expertise across the full life cycle of mining-related matters, including feasibility studies, permitting, project development, project acquisitions and mine closures. High-profile sector specialist Virgilio Cezar de Moraes Borba is widely regarded as a market leader and the group also benefits from the senior experience of Daniela Bessone, who brings to bear a strong record in transactional matters. The firm’s recent highlights demonstrate particularly strong showings for companies in the aluminum, copper, iron and gold segments.
Pinheiro Neto Advogados’ comprehensive mining practice spans the full range of transactional and regulatory matters, with notable expertise in M&A, mining policy, tax issues and litigation. Among its transactional highlights, the firm advised Appian Capital Advisory on both its $40m acquisition of Mineração Vale Verde from Aura Minerals, and also on its acquisition of Mirabela Mineração do Brasil from Mirabela Nickel’s bondholders. Yamana Gold is also a key client and the firm advises the Canada-headquartered producer on a wide spread of corporate finance, tax and regulatory matters related to its copper and gold operations in Brazil. Widely admired department head Carlos Vilhena and counsel Adriano Drummond Trindade are the names to note.
Veirano Advogados’ mining team leverages the wider firm’s expertise in project finance and real estate to pack a punch in project development. The group also handles a varied mix of corporate finance, regulatory and environmental matters, including litigation. In a highlight example of its strength in cross-border deals, Pedro Garcia acted as Brazilian counsel for Leagold on its headline multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Brio Gold. On the contentious side, Garcia advised AngloGold Ashanti on various expansion issues related to its gold mining operations, including representing it before the Mining Agency. Carlos Americo Castro and Pedro Freitas are also recommended.
Azevedo Sette Advogados
Belo Horizonte-based Azevedo Sette Advogados is valued for its ‘considerable experience in the day-to-day matters that mining companies face in Brazil’. The firm, which acts for an impressive roster of local and multinational mining companies, was recently engaged by trophy client Vale to perform the due diligence to support its $550m acquisition of Ferrous Resources. It also provides ongoing advice to Lhoist Group on operational matters concerning its subsidiaries in Brazil. Other representative clients are Anglo American Minério de Ferro Brasil, China Molybdenum and Jaguar Mining. Key names in the ‘very professional and reliable team of lawyers’ include Leonardo Farinha Goulart, Fernando Azevedo Sette and Leonardo Pereira Lamego.
William Freire Advogados
‘Extremely available and practical’, William Freire Advogados sets itself apart through its ability to provide ‘quick and concise answers to a variety of mining industry-related subjects’. The ‘experienced and agile’ boutique specialises in all areas of mining law, from permitting through to the purchase and sale of mining assets - it also benefits from the support of specialist departments providing sector-specific environmental and tax advice. William Freire is an ‘outstanding and highly experienced professional’ and has a strong record in regulatory matters. Tiago de Mattos Silva, who is a ‘passionate and brilliant lawyer’, is also highly regarded. Key clients include Rio Tinto, Gerdau and Imerys.
Traditionally best known for its strength in corporate finance matters, Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados bolstered its regulatory and operational capability in 2019 with its acquisition of Minas-based mining boutique Mendo de Souza Advogados Associados. Highlights included advising Vale on several matters, including regulatory issues related to the operation of its Tamanduá Mine. The combined group, which also counts Anglo American, Orion Mine Finance and Samarco among its key clients, is led jointly by Frederico Viana Rodrigues and Marcelo Mendo Gomes de Souza.
Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados handles an array of operational and regulatory mining matters, with litigation standing out as a sweet spot; it also routinely assists mining companies with permitting, title issues and commercial work. Key contact Thiago Pastor recently advised Vale on matters relating to indigenous territories, among other issues. Kinross Brasil Mineração, AngloGold Ashanti Brasil Mineração and Brazilian Nickel are also representative clients.
The team at Sion Advogados is a popular choice for regulatory issues and brings to bear strong experience in licensing and permitting, land acquisitions, mining rights and administrative law matters. The firm also handles corporate and finance transactions. Founding partner Alexandre Sion is recommended and provides day-to-day support to several global and domestic mining companies.
Demarest Advogados’ growing profile for mining work received a further boost in 2018 with the hire of M&A partner Guilherme Vieira da Silva from Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown; he is noted for his strong record in transactions involving regulated industries, including mining. Department co-head Thiago Maia recently advised Imerys do Brasil Comércio de Extração de Minérios on the R$127m sale of L-Imerys Indústria e Comércio de Cal to Mineração Belocal. Gonçalo Godinho co-leads the group - which also acts for Vale, ArcelorMittal and Carmeuse Lime & Stone.
Major national and multinational mining companies turn to Siqueira Castro – Advogados for support on a wide range of regulatory and transactional issues. The litigation powerhouse is particularly well positioned to advise on contentious environmental and administrative law cases, but it also handles non-contentious issues, including due diligence procedures and contract negotiations. The firm routinely represents Vale in regulatory and administrative proceedings and it also counts Companhia Riograndense de Valorização de Resíduos and Mineração Buritirama as key clients. Simone Paschoal Nogueira and Carlos Roberto Siqueira Castro co-head the department.