Mining in Chile
Baker McKenzie Chile has a longstanding track record of assisting large and medium-sized mining companies with transactional, regulatory and operational matters. Notable clients include KGHM International, Mantos Copper, Minera Michilla, Atacama Pacific Gold, Xiana Mining and Orestone Resources. Recent mandates saw the team advise KGHM International on two large-scale opencast mining operations in Chile and act for Xiana Mining on the acquisition of Minera Altos del Punitaqui’s copper-gold operations in the country. In other matters, the practice assisted Orestone Resources with its option to purchase a medium-sized copper mining project in Copiapó. Santiago managing partner Antonio Ortuzar Jr. heads the mining practice and Mirco Hilgers advises on the formation, maintenance and development of foreign mining companies and their Chilean subsidiaries; Francisco Nualart and Santiago Vial are notable associates.
Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana's specialist, seven-strong mining team regularly works alongside the firm's regulatory, environmental, corporate, tax, labour and dispute resolution departments. Recent work highlights included advising Japanese mining company Sumitomo Metal Mining on its acquisition of 30 per cent of the Quebrada Blanca mine from Canadian mining company Teck Resources; and acting for Molyb (Codelco) on the construction and development of a molybdenum recovery plant. It also assisted Australia-based private equity group EMR Capital with its $230m acquisition of the Cerro Colorado mine from BHP Billiton. Pablo Mir and Rony Zimerman are highly-rated advisers, and Felipe Allende is noted for financing, transactional and contractual matters. Other team members include senior associates Joaquín Perez and Teresita González.
Carey is widely respected for its advice to companies, sponsors and lenders on large mining projects, including assistance with mining, water, and land use surface rights as well as financing, litigation, environmental and community issues. Active clients include Teck Resources, Codelco, Barrick, Minera Valle Central, Kinross and Aftermath Silver. Notable recent mandates saw the eight-strong team advise Teck Quebrada Blanca on the expansion of its hypogene project, which included mining legal-easement disputes against the Chilean state; and assist Codelco with the development of a copper project in northern Chile. Other significant work includes advising Tianqi Lithium on its agreement to acquire a 24 per cent stake in SQM for over $4bn. Rafael Vergara is 'an excellent lawyer', and Alberto Cardemil and counsel Francisco Corona are also highly regarded.
Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos assists foreign and local clients on the exploration, development, financing and operation of mining projects, as well as worksite closures and associated issues; it also advises on significant acquisitions and sales of mining companies and assets. The team acted for Appian Capital Advisory on its acquisition of a 30 per cent stake of the outstanding share capital of Compañia Minera Caserones from Minera Auromin; and Goldcorp on the contribution of Minera Eton (owner of the Caspiche Project), to Compañia Minera Casale. Carlos Pérez-Cotapos and Gonzalo Grez, along with senior associate Cristóbal Herrera, are the names to note. Key clients include Rio Tinto, Goldcorp, Hudbay Minerals, BHP, Planta Recuperadora de Metales and Mineral Mining.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría 'has extremely deep knowledge of the Chilean mining market'. The practice is widely respected for its experience in the contractual, finance and dispute resolution issues surrounding mining projects, and acts for high-profile clients such as Sumitomo Metal Mining, Minera Salar Blanco (MSB), Lithium Power International (LPI), Gold Fields Chile, Andex Minerals and Sierra Gorda. Recent mandates include advising LPI on its acquisition of an additional interest in Minera Salar Blanco; and assisting MSB with the development of a lithium project in northern Chile. Juan Paulo Bambach heads the mining and natural resources group; senior counsel Juan Irarrázabal is highly regarded; and 'excellent lawyer' María Paz Pulgar (who coordinates the natural resources department), and Cristina Olavarría, are both experienced senior associates.
Claro & Cia.'s nine-strong mining practice handles regulatory issues, finance, project development, disputes and M&A for a clientele including Anglo American, SQM, Elecmetal, Glenfarne Group, LafargeHolcim Group, and Quimetal Industrial. Recent matters included advising Minera Freeport-McMoRan South America on the negotiation, drafting and execution of a farm-out agreement entered into with Japanese corporation ITOCHU. Practice head Nicolás Eyzaguirre is a 'deeply experienced and knowledegeable' regarding the sector. Senior associate Joaquín Rodríguez is also noted.
CMS Carey & Allende advises on the acquisition of mining properties, establishment of electricity supply contracts, and permits and mining easements among other matters, as well as having considerable relevant expertise in environmental regulation, water rights and other public law issues. Recent mandates saw the team advise Compañía Minera Sierra Norte on establishing legal mining easements for the construction of a 60km aqueduct. Jorge Allende Z, senior associate Aldo Poblete and associate Manuel Ponce constitute the core team and key advisers. Other notable clients include Solarpack Chile, Hidroeléctrica Lumen and Inversiones Alxar.
Guerrero Olivos is highly regarded for its assistance with significant mining-related development projects, transactions and corporate restructuring, as well as having expertise in matters including exploration agreements, environmental permits, easements and water rights. Mining and regulatory law expert Pedro Lyon leads the practice with key support coming from Marco Zavala and senior associate Benjamín Pérez. Key clients include Santiago Metals.
Jara Del Favero & Ried Fabres 'has a deep and wide understanding of the legal system applicable to natural resources, which enables it to manage very complex matters'. The practice assists with all stages of mining projects, ranging from mineral exploration to obtaining concessions and constituting mining easements; other areas of strength include the development, financing, construction and commercial operation of projects. Antofagasta Minerals, Minera Centinela and SCM Minera Lumina Copper Chile (SCM) are active clients; the team advises SCM on an ongoing basis in relation to the Caserones mining project. Gabriel Del Favero and Felipe Ovalle are highly rated; consultant Hipólito Zañartu is also a key contact, but former associate Javier Ruscic left to establish PRB Abogados in mid-2019.
Núñez Muñoz Abogados
Renowned specialist boutique Núñez Muñoz Abogados is highly rated for its mining law experience. Typical work includes assisting with joint ventures and shareholder agreements, asset acquisitions, mining-related M&A and financing, projects and regulatory issues. Other areas of strength are mining concessions and easements, water rights, environmental issues, and property rights and land easements. Patricia Nuñez, Rodrigo Muñoz and Andrés Verdugo are the key contacts. Key associate Juan Luis Castellón is also noted.
The six-strong team at Prieto Abogados assists with financing agreements, project development, easement procurement, and environmental and antitrust matters; it is particularly active in mining issues related to port, energy and infrastructure projects. Recent mandates include advising Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte on several mining concession and easment matters related to the financing agreements for a power transmission project. Other ongoing work includes assisting Prospecta, Agricola Talinay and Compañía Minera Doña Francisca mining patent reviews. Firm managing partner Alberto González E and transactional specialist Juan Tagle are both highly regarded. Key support comes from experienced senior associate Camila Kutz. In addition, the July 2018 arrival of Agustín Martorell from Claro & Cia. as director of the environmental practice has further strengthened the firm's offering. Other clients include Americas Energy Fund, VivoCorp and Puerto Lirquén.
Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr advises on every stage of mining projects, including title reviews, purchase options, financing, joint ventures and exploration agreements; the team also assists with easements, water rights and permits. Active clients include BHP, Royal Gold, Minera Escondida and Amerigo Resources; recent matters saw the team advise BHP on the proposed $320m sale of its Cerro Colorado mine. Managing partner Sergio Orrego is team leader.
Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán & Tapia
DLA Piper (Chile) regularly advises on exploration and exploitation mining concessions and mining contracts, as well as project development and contentious matters; the team has particular expertise in the lithium segment. Recent matters saw the team act for Cominor in the sale of a 50 per cent ownership stake in Minera Pompeya to Minera Mantos de Oro. SIMCO and Desarrollos Mineros are also clients. José Pablo Dulanto is department head and Claudio Sepúlveda is a notable associate.
Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cia.’s Hugo Prieto heads up the mining practice. The four-strong group is experienced in mining title reviews, concessions, option and royalty agreements, financing, and project development, and also advises on easements, mining-related M&A, construction and dispute resolution. Via it's wholly owned subsidiary, Tecnomin, the firm also advises natonally on all technical aspects of mining concessions and their maintenance. Clients include Sociedad Contractual Minera Tres Valles, Sumitomo Metal Mining Chile, Vale Exploraciones Chile and Cobalteras. Senior associate José Francisco Osman is also noted.
Honorato Delaveau is 'well known in the market and very experienced'. The practice undertakes matters ranging from investments, the purchase and sales of mining companies and project finance, to mining concessions, permits, water rights and EPCs. Recent mandates included advising Canada's Camrova Resources on the acquisition of Compañia Minera Oximin. Gonzalo Delaveau is 'a seasoned mining lawyer who brings a wealth of experience to the firm and his clients'; Rodrigo Delaveau is a well-regarded of counsel. Other clients include Los Andes Copper, Herencia Resources Chile, Minera Colliguay and Turnbrook Mining.
Larrain y Asociados Abogados 'has deep knowledge of the sector, availability and good delivery'. The team advises on the survey, exploration, development, operation and construction of mining projects and the acquisition and sale of mining companies and assets; the team also assists with project financing, option agreements and rights of way. Codelco, Atacama Solar and BHP Billiton are clients; the practice assisted state-owned entity Codelco on a joint venture with Pucobre for the exploration and development of a copper mining project. The 'highly experienced' Jorge Granic is 'a trusted individual who advises not only on technical matters, but also business in general'; Cristóbal Morandé is also a key name.
Morales & Besa advises on the establishment of mining property rights and incorporation of mining entities, mining agreements, permits, project financing and administrative law issues. The team recently advised BHP subsidiary MEL, on mining agreements with Orica Chile. Eugenio Besa heads the department and Lorena Barrientos is an experienced counsel. Other clients include Arena Minerals and BHP.
Ossa Alessandri Abogados
Ossa Alessandri Abogados 'co-ordinates very well with its clients'. The practice advises on major projects, option agreements, mining properties and titles, as well as related litigation. Los Andes Copper, Turnbrook Mining and Herencia Resources are clients. Recent mandates include advising Minera Santa Julia on two easement disputes against Glencore and the Chilean state. Francisco Ossa is the key name.
Vergara y Cia
Perhaps best known for its particular prowess in water law, Vergara y Cia has longstanding experience in assisting with the full range of mining matters, from contracts, easements and concessions, to public and administrative law matters, water law and mining-related disputes. Alejandro Vergara Blanco, Gonzalo Muñoz Escudero and Daniela Rivera Bravo are the key contacts. Clients include Teck Quebrada Blanca.