Mining in Brazil

Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados

Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados further bolstered its mining practice with the incorporation of specialist firm Mendo de Souza Advogados Associados; its broad service offering, which already excelled in finance, was strengthened in terms of regulatory matters and litigation. The team is now equipped to advise key mining companies in complex litigation proceedings before judicial and arbitral courts, as well as before regulatory agencies in relation to administrative proceedings. Working closely with other practice areas, the Belo Horizonte-based department is also adept at assisting with corporate and contractual matters, as well as cross-border transactions. The practice is under the joint leadership of Frederico Viana Rodrigues, who focuses on regulatory mining matters, M&A and project financing, and Marcelo Mendo Gomes De Souza, who demonstrates particular expertise in mining litigation and environmental issues.

Key clients

Vale Group

Samarco

Anglo American

Braskem

Gerdau

Kinross Gold Corporation

ArcelorMittal

Votorantim Group (Nexa Resources)

CBMM – Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração

InterCement (Camargo Correa Group)

Work highlights

  • Provides legal advice to Samarco Mineração on matters regarding the company’s relations to public authorities after the Mariana dam disaster.
  • Advised Sul Americana de Metais on the mining and environmental regulatory matters related to the installation of the Block 8 Project in Minas Gerais state.
  • Assisted Vale with  regulatory matters related to the Brumadinho dam disaster, including analysis and opinion on all the company’s tailing dams emergency action plans.
  • Defends Nexa’s interests in a strategic public civil action filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Juína regarding illegal gold exploitation in the area of some of the client’s mining rights.
  • Advised Société Générale in the funding granted to Leagold Mining Corporation, destined to cover the repayment of a pre-existing financing granted by Orion Mine Finance.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Pinheiro Neto Advogados receives instructions from not only mining companies, but also financial institutions, funds and private equity firms, which seek the team's assistance with the structuring of investments and debt transactions involving mining assets. The department is well versed in all stages of M&A deals in the mining sector, and is also active in advising on policymaking matters and regulatory changes. Litigation is another area of focus, in which the department typically represents clients in disputes involving the access to land and the right to mine, as well as environmental concerns pertaining to tailings dams. Carlos Vilhena devotes all of his practice to mining law and government relations, while of counsel Adriano Drummond Trindade advises on regulatory matters, contractual law and corporate issues concerning the mining sector.

Testimonials

‘The team has an outstanding knowledge regarding Brazilian regulation, and is always available to provide the best solution possible.’

‘Carlos Vilhena is one of the greatest experts in Brazil with respect to mining regulation, giving to clients the comfort required to move on their transactions.’

‘Adriano Drummond is a tremendous results-driven professional and provides consistent legal opinions.’

‘The team has been involved for many years in the leading cases in Brazil.’

‘Carlos Vilhena has a unique way of solving issues which are quite cumbersome in a jurisdiction like Brazil. He is extremely solid in legal knowledge, knows the industry very well and is quite pragmatic.’

‘The team has had the ability to deal with large transactions as well as more strategic advice to companies.’

‘Carlos Vilhena and Adriano Drummond are both mining experts with long experience in the industry. Carlos as partner has a strong presence in the international market and is currently Chair of the Mining Law Committee of the IBA. Adriano has more of an academic background which is something difficult to find in the mining sector.’

Key clients

Yamana Gold

Ero Copper Corp / Mineração Caraíba

China Molybdenum Co / Copebras / Niobras

Mineração Rio do Norte

AngloGold Ashanti

Nexa Resources / Votorantim

Bahia Mineração

Equinox

Orion

Rio Tinto

Work highlights

  • Assisted Yamana Gold on structuring the sale of the Maracá project, carving out assets that should be excluded from the sale, and eliminating contingencies to prepare Maracá for the handover to Lundin.
  • Representing Copebras and Niobras, which are part of the CMOC Group in Brazil, in legal actions filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Catalão in relation to tailings dams in phosphate and niobium operations.
  • Advised Orion Resource Partners on the due diligence of the Brazilian ferronickel project of Horizonte Minerals.
  • Provided legal assistance to Bahia Mineração on the negotiation with the State of Bahia of the terms for a joint venture for the construction and operation of a port to ship iron ore and other products.
  • Assisted Mubadala on the due diligence of Equinox’s operations in order to identify and assess potential risks that could affect the client’s investment in the company.

Veirano Advogados

Demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the mining industry, Veirano Advogados has extensive experience advising a range of clients on large-scale mining projects in Brazil. The team is adept in acquisitions of mining assets, financing issues, mineral rights as well as administrative proceedings before mining authorities. Other typical matters involve acting in sector-related litigation, including disputes for access to mining sites and over the implementation of mining projects. Cross-border deals and regulatory matters also feature in the department's portfolio. With over two decades' experience in the field, Pedro Garcia leads the practice, which also includes Carlos Americo Castro and former managing partner Pedro Freitas.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Garcia

Key clients

Lundin Mining

Royal Gold

Samsung C&T UK

Maverix Metals

AngloGold

Leagold

Equinox Gold

Glencore

Norsk Hydro

Vale

Work highlights

  • Represented Lundin Mining in the acquisition of the Chapada mine from Yamana Gold for $1bn, in one of the most relevant transactions in the Brazilian mining sector.
  • Advised Royal Gold (a Nasdaq-listed US company) in a royalty transaction with Tristar Gold (listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange) through an investment in the Castelo de Sonhos Gold Project in Pará, Brazil.
  • Assisted Leagold in the refinancing of a credit facility in the amount of $400m with Societé Generale, involving four gold mines in Brazil and one in Mexico.
  • Represented Samsung in a financial gold offtake agreement with Great Panther Limited, an Australian company with a gold mine in Brazil.
  • Acted for Equinox in the refinancing of a credit facility with a group of lenders, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Sandstorm Gold and Mubadala.

Azevedo Sette Advogados

Domestic and foreign mining companies seek Azevedo Sette Advogados' support in relation to projects and corporate transactions. The team is adept at assisting with due diligence processes, mining rights, expropriation procedures and administrative and judicial proceedings. Key practitioners include Leonardo Farinha Goulart, Fernando Azevedo Sette and Leonardo Pereira Lamego.

Borba, Simões Barbosa, Bessone e Cristofaro Advogados

Borba, Simões Barbosa, Bessone e Cristofaro Advogados acts for Brazilian and international clients in a range of mining matters, covering the exploration of aluminium, copper, tin, iron, manganese, gold, nickel, as well as fertilizers and industrial minerals. The practice assists with the acquisition of mineral rights and mining projects, as well as on the development of mineral exploration programmes, feasibility studies, mine closures and the rehabilitation of degraded areas. Mining law expert Virgilio Cezar de Moraes Borba oversees the practice alongside Daniela Bessone, whose experience also includes litigation and contractual matters.

Testimonials

‘BSBC lawyers are extremely experienced, assertive and available.’

‘Virgílio Borba and Daniela Bessone provide valuable advice.’

Key clients

Anglo American Group

Newmont Mining Corporation

William Freire Advogados

William Freire Advogados' dedicated mining law department assists clients throughout the entire life-cycle of a mine, advising on acquisitions, expansions and closures. The department regularly advises investors on legal and regulatory issues pertaining to mining assets; it is also proficient in cross-border transactions and judicial and arbitral proceedings arising from mining disputes. Leading the practice is Tiago de Mattos Silva, whose expertise covers the gamut of mining matters, from mineral disputes to governance issues. Mining and environmental law expert William Freire is another key practitioner in the team.

Practice head(s):

Tiago de Mattos Silva

Testimonials

‘The team is experienced in international matters. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge in the field, and present us with innovative solutions and objective advice. They are always available for urgent meetings.’

‘Extremely responsible, diligent and technical. The entire team, starting with the founding partner, is extremely available and concerned about the company’s demands as if they were part of the internal legal team.’

‘The multidisciplinary team can analyse mandates in a timely and practice way. Tiago de Mattos and Nathalia Andrade are recommended.’

‘Bruno Costa is the lawyer responsible for mining consulting and litigation in William Freire. He is one of the most hands-on, diligent and competent lawyers that I have had the pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Gerdau

Imerys

RHI Magnesita

Usiminas

Sigma Lithium

Yara

Polimix

Nacional de Grafite

Kinross Mineração

Mosaic

Clariant

Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados

Based in Belo Horizonte, the mining law team at Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados works in collaboration with other departments in the firm, including corporate, environmental, real estate and litigation, to provide legal support to domestic and foreign clients in relation to their mining operations in Brazil. Besides advising on mining contracts and due diligence, the practice also handles contentious matters in the administrative and judicial spheres. Litigation is a key area of focus for department head Thiago Pastor, who combines expertise in mining and environmental law.

Practice head(s):

Thiago Pastor

Key clients

Kinross Brasil Mineração

Vale

Mosaic Fertilizantes

Anglogold Ashanti Brasil Mineração

Mineração Riacho dos Machados (Leagold Mining)

Coca Cola FEMSA

Consórcio UHE Guilman Amorim

Mineração Serra do Cabral (MSC)

Tamasa Engenharia

Brazilian Nickel

Work highlights

  • Assists Kinross Brasil Mineração in the regularisation of activities concerning mining projects, comprising several legal opinions, contracts, monitoring of mining titles, and other areas of work.
  • Advised Vale on regulatory and mining law to develop mining projects, especially concerning mining on indigenous territories, including the analysis of the administrative process before Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI).
  • Representation of Mosaic Fertilizantes in a strategic analysis and negotiations with the Public Prosecutor of the State of Minas Gerais for the execution of a conduct adjustment deal seeking the regularisation of its activities.

Sion Advogados

Belo Horizonte-based Sion Advogados is adept at assisting clients in the implementation and operation of mining projects. The service offering includes due diligence of mining assets in the context of M&A transactions, compliance matters and monitoring of administrative proceedings. The department draws on managing partner Alexandre Sion's longstanding expertise in the field of mining and energy; he is particularly skilled at handling high-value transactions and commercial agreements. Bernardo Pessoa is another name to note for commercial transactions in the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Pessoa

Testimonials

‘This is a practice with a specialised team in the sectors of natural resources, mining, energy and environment, composed of high-level professionals and solid knowledge of these sectors of the economy.’

‘Team with great expertise and experience in the areas mentioned above, especially in the person of partner Alexandre Sion.’

Demarest Advogados

Demarest Advogados offers cross-practice legal support in relation to the mining industry, bringing together expertise in corporate matters, tax, public law, projects, capital markets, insurance and environmental law. In addition to covering traditional mining segments like the extraction of gold, copper, tin, iron and bauxite, the department is also proficient in handling issues on behalf of metallurgy and steel mill companies. Practice head Thiago Maia focuses on corporate issues, M&A and private equity transactions in the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Thiago Maia

Key clients

Vale

Usiminas – Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais

Carmeuse Lime & Stone

Gerdau

Arcelor Mittal

Imerys

Ferbasa

Vesuvius

CSN – Companhia Siderúgica Nacional

CRH

Work highlights

  • Advised Imerys do Brasil Comércio de Extração de Minérios on the acquisition of EDK Mineração’s mining assets.
  • Advised Vale on the conclusion of the stock option agreement, with counterpart FIP Salus, through which was granted to Vale the purchase option of three companies belonging to Casa dos Ventos.

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados advises mining companies and investors on the structuring of projects, corporate transactions and financing matters. Apart from handling the purchase and sale of mineral rights, contractual agreements and strategic transactions, the team is also well versed in litigation. The department is jointly led by Pedro Henrique Jardim, whose areas of expertise include infrastructure projects and natural resources, and Liliam Fernanda Yoshikawa, who specialises in infrastructure and projects.

Testimonials

Good experience of legal and political aspects of mining. Large team that can deal with all legal aspects of corporates needs, eg legislative contract, litigation, HR etc.

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Vale Metais Básicos on the structuring and negotiation of the sale of assets related to the exploration of nickel products in the Jaguar Nickel Project, located in the Carajás Mineral Province.
  • Assisted Vale in the structuring and negotiation of the sale of assets related to the exploration of copper in Santa Lúcia Mine to Santa Lúcia Mineração, controlled by OZ Minerals.

Siqueira Castro – Advogados

With unparalleled geographical reach, Siqueira Castro – Advogados' mining department handles a range of matters, encompassing regulatory, environmental, labour and criminal issues. Corporate transactions and litigation and arbitration also feature. Simone Paschoal Nogueira, who splits her time between environmental law and energy and infrastructure matters, oversees the department from São Paulo in co-operation with energy law expert Carlos Roberto Siqueira Castro, who is based in Rio de Janeiro.

Key clients

Mineração Taboca

Vale

Companhia Riograndense De Valorização De Resídos

Teadit Indústria E Comércio

Construtora Norberto Odebrecht

Cia De Ferro Ligas Da Bahia – Ferbasa

Mineração Buritimara

Work highlights

  • Provides administrative, environmental, regulatory and legal strategic assistance to Companhia Riograndense de Valorização de Resídos in lawsuits relating to its operations concerning the enterprise of Copelmi Ltda.
  • Represents Odebrecht in a provisional remedy filed by Conterra Mineração e Comércio against it and others.