Energy and natural resources: mining in Canada

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP fields a full-service mining practice from its Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary bases. The firm's strength in corporate finance strength is widely recognized, but its exploration, development, operations, indigenous law and regulatory practices are also standout. The practice group shines in sophisticated, often multi-jurisdictional, transactions, where it routinely acts alongside the firm's corporate practices. Managing partner Mark Bennett maintains a busy practice, with recent mandates from major silver and gold clients. Paul Stein and Jay Goldman, whose practice focuses primarily on securities and corporate finance law, are also considered among the leading mining specialists in Canada.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Traub

Fasken

Fasken’s signature mining practice is recognized as a global leader across the full spread of transactional, development and contentious matters. In addition to its seven domestic offices, the group also draws upon sizeable platforms in key mining finance hubs such as London, Johannesburg and Beijing, and it ranks among the most active firms for new listings on the TSX, the AIM Market, and the JSE. Global mining head John Turner is widely regarded as a go-to specialist for corporate finance matters, while Michael Bourassa is sought after for his broad experience in Canadian and international mining projects. Brian Graves, who is dual qualified in New York and Ontario, is also rated for his cross-border M&A expertise. Among the up-and-coming partners, Krisztián Tóth and Vancouver-based Johanna Fipke are names to note. Also of note, in 2018 mining-focused corporate finance partner Grant McGlaughlin joined from Goodmans. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Gabrielson; John Turner

Testimonials

Fasken provides outstandingly thorough and practical legal advice. Lawyers go the extra mile, every day, without compromising on quality of advice.’

Key clients

Aurico Metals Inc.

De Beers Canada Inc.

Detour Gold.

First Quantum Minerals Inc.

IAMGOLD Corporation

K92 Mining Inc.

Leagold Mining

Orion Mine Finance

Sibanye Gold

Teck Resources Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Zijin Mining Group on its C$1.8bn acquisition of Nevsun.
  • Advised Sibanye Gold on a $500m gold and palladium streaming agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals.
  • Advised Teck Resources on the $1.2bn sale of its 30% indirect interest in Compañia Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca to Sumitomo Metal Mining.
  • Acted for De Beers Canada on its C$107m acquisition of Peregrine Diamonds.
  • Advised Northern Star Resources on its $260m acquisition of the Pogo gold project in Alaska from Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corporation.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP combines a comprehensive corporate and securities offering with exploration and development expertise and a robust regulatory practice. The firm acts for Canadian and international mining companies, investment banks and investors, and regularly handles deals across all asset classes, with recent strong showings in gold, silver, copper and coal. Key contacts in Toronto include practice head Sander Grieve, who has strong experience in corporate finance, M&A and corporate governance, and up-and-coming partner Abbas Ali Khan.

Practice head(s):

Sander Grieve

Key clients

Osisko Mining Inc.

Klondex Mines Ltd.

Premier Gold Mines Ltd.

SolGold plc

Seabridge Gold Inc.

First Majestic Silver Corp.

Katanga Mining Limited

Adventus Zinc Corporation

Argonaut Gold Inc.

McEwen Mining Inc.

Mountain Province Diamonds

Victoria Gold Corp.

Dalradian Resources Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Klondex Mines on its $462m acquisition by Hecla Mining Company.
  • Advised Osisko Mining on its acquisition of Beaufield Resources.
  • Advised CST Canada Coal on its $433.9m acquisition of coal assets of Grande Cache Coal LP and Grande Cache Coal Corporation.
  • Advised Frontier Lithium on all aspects of its PAK Lithium Project, including corporate, finance and regulatory issues.
  • Represented Katanga Mining in an Ontario Securities Commission investigation, and a review by the company’s independent directors, of certain accounting matters  which resulted in a restatement of certain of the company’s historical financial statements.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Regularly appearing in high-profile mining M&A and securities matters, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s practice is best known for its transactional firepower. In addition, it draws on the firm’s auxiliary strength in dispute resolution and environmental law to provide comprehensive advice on operational, commercial and contentious matters. Led out of Toronto by John Wilkin, the national department also benefits from solid platforms in Montreal and Calgary, as well as a strong Vancouver team, which includes Bob Wooder and Peter O’Callaghan. Internationally, the firm has on-the-ground mining groups in London, New York, Beijing and Manama.

Practice head(s):

John Wilkin

Key clients

Alio Gold, Inc.

Ascot Resources Ltd.

Atlantic Gold Corporation

BHP Billiton

Capstone Mining Corp.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

Equinox Gold Corp.

Ero Copper Corp.

First Quantum Minerals Limited

Kinross Gold Corporation

MAG Silver Corp.

Nevsun Resources Ltd.

NovaGold Resources Inc.

Nutrien Ltd.

Pretium Resources Inc.

Rio Tinto Alcan

Seabridge Gold Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Nevsun Resources on its C$1.8bn sale to Zijin Mining Group.
  • Advised Atlantic Gold on its C$802m sale to St Barbara.
  • Advised the independent committee of the board of directors of Dalradian Resources on the C$537m all-cash offer, by an affiliate of Orion Mine Finance, to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Dalradian Resources.
  • Advised Equinox Gold on its $158m acquisition of the Mesquite Gold Mine in California from New Gold.
  • Advised Triple Flag Mining Finance on its $80m streaming financing and equity investment in Nevada Copper to finance the development of the Pumpkin Hollow Project in Nevada.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s national practice is spread throughout its several national offices, but has concentrated mining expertise in Vancouver and Toronto. The group handles a mix of corporate, finance, commercial and regulatory matters for corporates from mid-tier and junior mining companies to major producers such as Pan American Silver. The mining practice also benefits from the firm's expertise in indigenous law and taxation. Vancouver-based Fred Pletcher advises Canadian and international mining companies on a range of corporate, project development and finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Fred Pletcher; Mark Wheeler

Key clients

Pan American Silver Corp.

Ressources Quebec Inc.

Almadex Minerals Limited (to be renamed Azucar Minerals Ltd.) and 1154229 B.C. Ltd. (to be renamed Almadex Minerals Ltd.)

Nevsun Resources Ltd. (The Special Committee of)

Morgan Stanley and M. Klein & Co.

Kinross Gold Corp.

Epiroc Drilling Tools AB

National Bank Financial

Gold Standard Ventures Corp.

Kelt Exploration Ltd.

Cormark Securities Inc.

TD Securities Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Pan American Silver on its C$1.2bn acquisition of Tahoe Resources.
  • Advised Imperial Metals on the $806.5m sale of a 70% interest in the Red Chris mine to Newcrest Mining and on a follow-on joint venture between the parties for the ongoing operation of the Red Chris mine.
  • Represented the Special Committee of Nevsun Resources in Zijin Mining Group’s C$1.8bn takeover bid.
  • Acted for Epiroc Drilling Tools on its acquisitions of Fordia and New Concept Mining.
  • Advised Guyana Goldfields on a proxy fight with a group of shareholders who requisitioned a shareholder meeting to replace the board of directors.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s multidisciplinary mining practice brings together corporate, securities, banking and environmental law specialists to provide a full-service offering to mining companies. Best known for its strength in transformative mergers and hostile takeovers, it is also a key player in financing deals, streaming transactions and other commercial matters. The firm’s close relationship with Barrick Gold (for which Toronto-based Melanie Shishler is the key contact partner) generates a significant amount of activity; over the past year, the group advised the gold giant on a $20bn joint venture with Newmont Mining, and also on its $18.3bn share-for-share merger with Randgold Resources. Toronto-based Richard Fridman, who co-heads the group alongside Shishler advises a spread of major producers, junior exploration companies and private equity firms on mining matters. M&A, securities and corporate governance lawyer Aaron Atkinson recently joined the group from Fasken.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Shishler; Richard Fridman

Testimonials

Davies has had the deepest and one of the strongest M&A teams in the industry for the past decade-plus. Vince Mercier and Patricia Olasker are highly experienced lawyers who add significant value to their M&A files, particularly in the mining industry.’

Every member of the team stands out; there are no weak links. Of particular note is the number of women on the team who we have the pleasure of working with

Key clients

Barrick Gold Corporation

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

BHP

Titan Mining Corporation

Hudbay Minerals

New Gold Inc.

Roxgold Inc.

MAG Silver Corp.

Arizona Mining Inc.

Leagold Mining Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Barrick Gold on the establishment of its joint venture with Newmont Mining, which will combine their respective mining operations, assets, reserves and talent in Nevada in a transaction valued at approximately $20bn.
  • Advised Barrick Gold on its $18.3bn share-for-share merger with Randgold Resources.
  • Advised Arizona Mining on its C$2.1bn sale to South32 in an all-cash transaction.
  • Advised Augusta Investments on its minority investment in Tethyan Resources, a gold and base metal mineral exploration company incorporated in England & Wales.
  • Represented Vale Canada in defending claims before the Superior Court of Newfoundland & Labrador relating to the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Project.

Lawson Lundell LLP

Historically strong on the operational side, Lawson Lundell LLP utilizes the wider firm’s capable capital markets and M&A capabilities to advise mining clients across the spectrum of mining industry issues. In the projects space, the firm has a focus on the Canadian North and has handled operational and development matters for mines across a wide range of asset classes, including gold, silver, diamond and iron ore. The team is led from Vancouver by Khaled Abdel-Barr, Karen MacMillan and high-profile senior counsel Chris Baldwin, and also includes partners in Calgary and Yellowknife.

Practice head(s):

Chris Baldwin; Khaled Abdel-Barr; Karen MacMillan

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault leverages its premier financial services and corporate practices to handle mining-sector M&A and finance transactions. The firm also has significant expertise in project development and high-stakes litigation, with the ability to provide advice under both common law and civil law regimes (including the OHADA laws of West Africa). In addition, the firm benefits from an international office network in New York and London, the latter of which houses several dual UK and Canadian-qualified partners with mining experience. Vancouver-based Roger Taplin, who is regarded among the market’s leading mining transactional specialists, co-leads the group together with Toronto-based Eva Bellissimo and Shea Small, who splits his practice between Toronto and London.

Practice head(s):

Shea Small; Roger Taplin; Eva Bellissimo

Key clients

Wheaton Precious Metals

Trevali Mining Corporation

Newcrest Mining Limited

Glencore plc

Rio Tinto plc

Anglo American plc

Vale S.A.

Goldcorp Inc.

Champion Iron Ore

Royal Gold Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Newcrest Mining on its C$806.5m acquisition of a 70% joint venture interest in the Red Chris copper and gold mine from Imperial Metals
  • Acted for Mubadala Investments on its $130m strategic investment to acquire convertible notes of TSX-listed Equinox Gold.
  • Advised La Mancha Holding on its $125.7m investment in Golden Star Resources.
  • Advised Great Panther Mining on its $105m acquisition of Beadell Resources.
  • Advised Royal Gold on its $265m sliver streaming transaction with Cupric Canyon Capital for the Khoemacau copper project in Botswana.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is distinguished by its ability to link up with the wider firm’s respected global mining practice, and, indeed, a large proportion of its Canadian-led deals are cross-border. The team’s global dimension is also evidenced by its impressive client list, which is composed of major international financial institutions and mining corporations. Led out of Toronto by corporate finance partner Robert Mason, the national group also has specialists in project finance and regulatory matters. Marvin Singer recently retired.

Practice head(s):

Robert Mason

Testimonials

‘Norton Rose Fulbright’s lawyers are responsive and provide business-focused solutions.’

Robert Mason and his team have established a solid network of legal colleagues within Norton Rose Fulbright to deliver more specialized legal services.’

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Lundin Gold

Nutrien

Arianne Phosphate

Eco Oro

Marathon Gold Corporation

Royal Nickel Corporation

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd

Stornoway Diamond Corporation

Osisko Mining

La Mancha Resources

LSC Lithium Corporation

PolyMet

Work highlights

  • Advised Rio Tinto Alcan on a joint venture with Alcoa Corporation for a C$558m project to develop and commercialise a carbon-free process to create aluminium.
  • Advised Lundin Gold on a $350m project finance debt facility, used to support the $1bn development of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador.
  • Advised Stornoway Diamond Corporation on its up to C$129m financing package for its Renard Diamond Mine.
  • Advised POSCO on its $280m acquisition of a package of Argentinean lithium tenements from Galaxy Resources.
  • Advised Marathon Gold on various prospectus financings and royalty transactions in connection with the development of the Valentine Lake gold project.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Complemented by the firm’s first-class corporate practice, Stikeman Elliott LLP’s mining group is a top choice for high-stakes M&A and challenging capital markets deals. Other sweet spots include stream finance and royalty transactions, joint ventures and project finance. The firm acts for the full range of industry participants, including junior and global mining companies, investors and banks. In addition, the Canada team regularly works alongside its colleagues in New York, London and Sydney to advise on complex multi-jurisdictional mandates. Key contacts include former Toronto managing partner Jay Kellerman, who splits his practice between Toronto and London, and Quentin Markin, who operates between Vancouver and Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Jay Kellerman

Other key lawyers:

Quentin Markin

Dentons

Dentons handles a wide range of transactional, regulatory and contentious matters for mining companies, investors and industry service providers. The firm has a strong offering in Vancouver, which includes Brian Abraham QC, and is supported by senior expertise throughout offices in Eastern and Western Canada. The practice also has the ability to tap into its global network, which includes offices in key mining jurisdictions such as Brazil, Peru and Chile.

Practice head(s):

Adam Allouba; Leanne Krawchuk

Other key lawyers:

Brian Abraham

Key clients

Algold Resources Ltd.

Ascendant Resources Inc.

Blackrock Metals Inc.

ERP Steel Works, LLC (Conuma Coal Resources)

GoviEx Uranium Inc.

Gran Colombia Gold

Knight Piesold Ltd.

Margaux Resources Ltd.

Millennial Lithium Corp.

Procon Mining and Tunnelling Ltd.

Rio Tinto Alcan

Rubicon Minerals

Sama Resources

Sherritt International Corporation

SRG Graphite Inc.

Syncrude Canada

Mongoose Mining Inc.

Regulus Resources Inc.

Rusoro Mining Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Gran Colombia Gold on a $98m offering of gold-linked notes and warrants.
  • Regulus Resources on a C$20.6m brokered private placement financing.
  • Advised Syncrude Canada on all regulatory, environmental and Aboriginal law issues related to its proposed development of two additional mining areas connected to the existing Mildred Lake Project.
  • Advised Doubleview Capital on an option agreement with Hudbay Minerals related to Doubleview’s Hat Copper-Gold Project, which provides Hudbay with the right to earn up to a 65% interest in the property in return for exploration commitments of up to $40m.
  • Represented Knight Piesold in construction litigation stemming from the failure of the tailings storage facility at the Mount Polley Mine.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has nationwide strengths in M&A, regulatory and environmental law, enabling it to provide a litany of legal services to clients in the mining industry. Particularly sought after for corporate and finance transactions, the group acts for clients ranging from junior to large-cap mining companies at all stages of development. Vancouver-based corporate finance specialist Alan Hutchison co-heads the department alongside Toronto-based up-and-coming transactional mining partner James Brown.

Practice head(s):

James Brown; Alan Hutchison

Key clients

South32

Cameco Corporation

Kinross Gold Corporation

China Molybdenum Co., Ltd

Vale S.A.

Wheaton Precious Metals

BMO Capital Markets

Pacific Road Capital Management

Lithium Americas Corp.

China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised South32 on its C$2.1bn acquisition of Arizona Mining.
  • Advised Centerra Gold on the sale by AuRico Metals, its wholly owned subsidiary, of its royalty portfolio and a silver stream on the Kemess project, totalling $200m.
  • Acted for Evrim Resources on Newmont Canada Corporation’s strategic C$7.3m investment in the company through a private placement.
  • Advised EMR Capital on its $320m acquisition of the Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile from BHP Billiton.
  • Advised Probe Metals on its C$14m bought deal private placement.

Torys

Torys LLP continues to thrive in the mining space, with a growing portfolio of clients including mining companies, finance houses and private equity investors. Historically strong in finance and securities, the mining group is best known for its expertise in complex streaming deals. Toronto-based transactions lawyers Michael Amm and Michael Pickersgill jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Michael Amm; Michael Pickersgill

Key clients

Sherritt International

Franco-Nevada Corporation

ArcelorMittal S.A

Magris Resources

BaseCore Metals

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Triple Flag Mining Finance

Americas Silver Corp.

Alamos Gold

Orion Mine Finance

Work highlights

  • Represented the Government of Ontario in its negotiations with the Matawa First Nations in connection with the proposed Ring of Fire development.
  • Represented Infinito Gold in its arbitral claim against the Republic of Costa Rica concerning the expropriation and unfair treatment of the Crucitas gold mining project.
  • Advised ArcelorMittal on the restructuring of its joint venture and offtake arrangements in connection with Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River Project in Nunavut.
  • Acted for Triple Flag on its $75m stream investment in Excelsior Mining and its Gunnison copper project in Arizona.
  • Advised Nevada Copper on its C$108.5m public share offering.

Goodmans

Goodmans houses a compact mining group, which often works hand-in-hand with the firm’s corporate and securities teams in M&A and finance transactions. The team also has experience in advising mining companies on operational and regulatory issues. Corporate finance partner Kari MacKay now solely heads the practice following the departures of former co-head Grant McGlaughlin and Gesta Abols, both of whom joined Fasken.

Practice head(s):

Kari MacKay

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's mining practice has an emphasis on corporate and finance matters, which is complemented by group’s ability to link with the global firm’s well-regarded fundraising practice. The firm also advises on operational and regulatory issues nationwide, including lease negotiation and site development. Calgary-based Stuart Olley, who sits in the firm’s capital markets, M&A and private equity groups, leads the natural resources department.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Olley

Testimonials

The team is flexible, responsive to needs and limitations, and demonstrates effective cost management.’

Gowling WLG’s mining practice offers exceptional legal advice related to Canadian securities law. Advice is based on thorough research and tenure and we can always count on it to be appropriate for our requirements.’

We value the team’s depth of expertise, availability and solution-based approach to resolving issues.’

Key clients

Adventus Zinc Corporation

Altus Strategies Plc

American CuMo Mining Corporation

Amerigo Resources Ltd.

Ascendant Resources Inc.

Aurania Resources Ltd.

Awale Resources Ltd.

Balmoral Resources Ltd.

Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd.

Black Sands Mining Canada Inc.

Brixton Metals Corporation

Candente Copper Corp.

Candente Gold Corp.

Canterra Minerals Corporation

Cavalla Resources Limited

Cementation Canada

Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation

Comsup Minerals Ltd.

Cross River Ventures Corp.

First Bauxite Corporation

Gold Dragon Resources Corporation

Gold Torrent Inc.

GoldON Resources Ltd.

Goldstream Minerals Inc.

Great Thunder Gold Corp.

Highland Gold Mining Ltd.

Independence Gold Corp.

InZinc Mining Ltd.

Jannatec Technologies

JDL Gold Corp.

K92 Mining Inc.

Karmin Exploration Inc.

Korea Resources Corporation

Labrador Gold Corp.

Largo Resources Ltd.

Leading Edge Materials Corp.

Los Andes Copper Ltd.

Mawson Resources Limited

Meadow Bay Gold Corporation

Meryllion Resources Corporation

Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd.

Minera Alamos Inc.

Mineral Mountain Resources Ltd.

Mkango Resources Ltd.

New Era Minerals Inc.

Nortec Minerals Corp.

Objectivity.ca

Osisko Metals Incorporated

Outokumpu Mines Ltd.

Paramount Gold Nevada Corp.

Platinum Group Metals Ltd.

Purcell Basin Minerals Inc.

QMC Quantum Minerals Corp.

Quinto Resources Inc.

RDH Mining Equipment Ltd.

Riley Resources Corp.

Rock-Tech

Rokmaster Resources Corp.

Rugby Mining Limited

Rupert Resources Ltd.

Sabina Gold & Silver Corporation

Salazar Resources Ltd.

Shanta Gold Limited

Strongbow Exploration Inc.

Terraco Gold Corp.

Territory Metals Corp.

Tolima Gold Inc.

TriMetals Mining Inc.

URZ Energy Corp.

US Gold Corp.

VR Resources Ltd.

Wenco International Mining Systems Ltd.

West Kirkland Mining Inc.

Western Lithium USA Corporation

Zijin Mining Group Co., Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Exeter Resource Corporation on its negotiated C$240m acquisition by Goldcorp.
  • Advised Largo Resources on its $96.6m secondary share offering.
  • Advised Metalla Royalty & Streaming on its $12m acquisition of a 2% net smelter return royalty on the Santa Gertrudis gold property, located in  Mexico, from GoGold Resources.

McMillan LLP

McMillan LLP houses a capable mining practice, which excels in the junior and mid-tier spaces. The group is recognized for its broad coverage of the industry, including exploration, development, project finance and production agreements, and also benefits from its ability to work seamlessly with the firm’s environmental regulation, government relations and tax practices. Vancouver-based corporate and securities specialist Bernhard Zinkhofer co-chairs the practice group alongside Cory Kent.

Practice head(s):

Cory Kent; Bernhard Zinkhofer