Mining and minerals in London
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides complete coverage to a stellar client base in the mining sector. This includes having mining sector experts in specialist areas such as tax, employment and pensions, technology and corporate crime and investigations. Practice head Greg Mulley specialises in public and private M&A, IPOs and other equity fundraisings, joint ventures, listed company issues and corporate governance. The team was recently bolstered by the promotion to partner of Laura Hulett, who focuses on complex M&A and project financing transactions.
Other key lawyers:
‘The key strengths of this team are the depth of its industry experience and the global connectivity of the team.’
‘Greg Mulley and Laura Hulett are particularly notable. Greg takes a holistic view of the client relationship and is focused on delivering the best the firm has to offer them.’
Anglo American plc
Anglo Pacific Group plc
- Advised Elementis in relation to the acquisition of Mondo Minerals Holding B.V. from Advent Mondo.
- Acting for the Norilsk Group in claims pertaining to the sale of its interest in two nickel mines in southern Africa – the Nkomati mine in Mpumalanga, South Africa and the Tati mine near Francistown, Botswana – under two sale and purchase agreements.
- Advising Lonmin on its recommended all-share takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater.
- Advising Kasbah Resources Limited, on the financing, construction, joint venture arrangements and equity raising for its Achmmach Tin Project in Morocco.
- Advising Africa Finance Corporation and Afreximbank in connection with the financing for the development of the Colluli potash project in Eritrea by Danakali Limited alongside the Perth office.
A wide range of big-name clients turn to the dedicated mining team at Linklaters LLP for support on complex, high-profile and novel legal issues. The team, jointly led by senior partner Charlie Jacobs , Toby Grimstone , David Avery-Gee and Andrew Jones, boasts particularly strong capabilities across corporate, finance and contentious work, and recently provided English law advice to US mining tools maker ESCO on its $1.3bn takeover by London-listed engineering giant Weir Group.
Charlie Jacobs; Toby Grimstone; David Avery-Gee; Andrew Jones
‘Linklaters shows strong industry experience underpinned by deep relationships with key industry players.’
‘This is an experienced team with sufficient depth and knowledge base possessing great tenacity and discipline during the toughest periods of the deal.’
‘The team at Linklaters is known for its consistent work quality and engagement on all levels, as well as its great communication and interpersonal skills.’
‘Toby Grimstone is one of, if not the most reliable lawyer to have by your side for complex and challenging deals. His impressive ability to keep calm and composed and carry on under immense pressure whilst producing quality work and negotiating well makes him a clear standout.’
- Acted as English law counsel and global antitrust counsel to ESCO in connection with its acquisition by Weir.
- Advised Endeavour Mining Corporation on all legal aspects of the disposal of 80% of the Tabakoto gold mine in the Republic of Mali to BCM Investments Limited.
- Acted for Glencore in a claim brought against it by MMG Swiss Finance and Minera Las Bambas in the English courts, which arose out of Glencore’s sale of a Peruvian copper mine in 2014.
- Acted as US counsel to Gold Fields Limited on its joint venture with Asanko Gold.
- Acted for the lead managers on the issuance of $1.6bn in new bonds as part of Metinvest’s refinancing of $2.3bn of debt.
Norton Rose Fulbright has a thriving dedicated mining practice, acting on major deals across jurisdictions including Latin America and Africa. It has recently advised on some of the most innovative, challenging and high-profile transactions in the market, such as Randgold's multibillion-dollar merger with Barrick. The group also played a key role in the Bacanora lithium project in Mexico, Cupric’s Khoemacau copper and silver project in Botswana, and the Yara potash project in Ethiopia, among others. 'Excellent' global head of business Martin McCann leads the team, working with EMEA corporate chief Raj Karia, energy disputes specialist Holly Stebbing, 'stand-out' counsel Daniel Giemajner and well-regarded senior associate Felicity Brown, cited as a potential 'future leader'.
‘The team has a deep knowledge and expertise in the project and mining sectors in Africa and Mark Berry is excellent when advising on legal issues, technical issues but also on strategy.’
‘My view is that this is the team to work with when it comes to complicated and complex deals as they have a unique expertise in structuring and adapting to any changes in the project needs.’
‘The mining experts at Norton Rose Fulbright are well connected and they have seen and done it all before.’
‘Martin McCann is excellent, especially in relation to the structuring of complex deals. Mark Berry combines excellent legal and technical expertise. Poupak Bahamin has extensive knowledge of Africa deals and the local legal regimes.’
‘Daniel Giemajner stands out. He shows an excellent handling of issues with the lender’s legal counsel.’
‘Felicity Brown is undoubtedly the best associate in London. Her ability to quickly grasp complex situations and negotiate positions for her clients is exceptional and her attention to detail and work ethic are second to none. She will be a future leader of her field without doubt.’
Appian Natural Resources Fund
Bellzone Mining Rio Tinto
Centerra Gold Inc
Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee
First Rand Bank (RMB)
Lundin Gold Inc
Red Kite Mine Finance
Standard Chartered Bank
Taurus Mining Fund
- Advised Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee in connection with the $800m expansion of its Sangaredi bauxite mine in western Guinea.
- Advising Yara Dallol in relation to the financing and development of its new potash mine in Ethiopia and associated port terminal in Djibouti.
- Advising the lenders (including Société Générale, Nedbank KfW and SEK) in relation to the $1bn financing of Ivanhoe’s greenfield Platreef platinum mine in South Africa.
- Advised Randgold Resources Limited on its $18.3bn merger with Barrick Gold Corporation.
- Advised Shalina Resources on the $130m financing of the development of a new SXEW copper and cobalt processing plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo, plus related hedging and offtake arrangements.
White & Case LLP's team continues to act on a steady stream of market-leading deals and recently advised Newmont Mining on its $10bn merger with Goldcorp. The mining team advises on the full spectrum of issues including corporate and M&A, project development and finance, banking, capital markets, FRI, regulatory, antitrust, disputes and white-collar mandates. Global mining and metals head Rebecca Campbell is able to draw on her previous in-house experience at BHP Billiton, working in tandem with cross-border expert Peter Finlay. Oliver Wright recently joined the team as counsel from an in-house position at Mubadala Investment Management.
Other key lawyers:
‘Industry knowledge and commercial acumen.’
‘Rebecca Campbell and John Tivey bring deep industry knowledge from experience in mining houses.’
Grupo Mineros S.A
Trafigura Pte Limited
- Represented a syndicate of banks, including Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan, as global coordinators on the successful listing of NAC Kazatomprom on the London Stock Exchange.
- Acted for Newmont Mining Corporation in connection with its $10bn acquisition of Goldcorp.
- Advised on the acquisition of a gold portfolio from Yamana Gold in Latin America on behalf of Grupo Mineros.
- Advising the PXF creditors on the ongoing financial restructuring of the Mechel Group, one of Russia’s leading mining and metals companies.
- Advised independent commodity trading and logistics company Trafigura on the establishment of a novel ‘true sale’ commodities securitisation programme.
The global mining group at Allen & Overy LLP works with renowned mining supermajors such as Vale, Rio Tinto, BHP and Anglo American across a wide range of practice areas including M&A, projects, banking and finance, capital markets, antitrust, dispute resolution, environmental and derivatives. In London, the team is led by head of corporate Dominic Morris, who advised EMR Capital alongside Perth-based Geoff Simpson on the acquisition of an 80% interest in the Lubambe Copper Mine in Zambia from Africa Rainbow Minerals and Vale.
Randgold Resources plc
Sirius Minerals plc
Fortescue Metals Group
Sherritt International Corporation
Resource Capital Funds
- Advised Aristus on the sale to AIM-listed Highland Gold Mining Limited of three Russian limited liability companies owning one operating gold mine and two significant licence areas in the Russian region of Chukotka.
- Advised a large European Union headquartered metallurgy, energy and EPC company on the US and EU sanctions risks associated with a number of proposed investments and contracts in Iran.
- Acted for infrastructure funds MEIF 5 and WSIP on their acquisition of HES International from private equity owners Riverstone and the Carlyle Group.
- Advised Sirius Minerals on a take-or-pay supply agreement between its wholly owned subsidiary York Potash Ltd, OFD Supply Inc. and Cibrafertil Companhia Brasileira de Fertilizantes for the supply and resale of POLY4 into Brazil and other countries in South America.
- Advised Guinea Alumina Corporation on the environmental and regulatory law aspects of the EGA/GAC bauxite mining project in Guinea.
Ashurst's mining experts are particularly known for their work on M&A and fundraising mandates, African project development, as well as advice to companies in the mid-tier/junior sector. The multi-disciplinary group is led by Yann Alix, who works for an enviable client roster active in Francophone Africa as well as Europe, Latin America and Central Asia. Matthew Wood recently joined the team as head of the African project finance sub-team from White & Case LLP's Abu Dhabi office.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised Newcrest Mining on the sale of its 89.9% interest in the Bonikro Gold Mine in Ivory Coast to Forbes & Manhattan and Africa Finance Corporation.
- Advised Managem on the development of the Tri-k gold project in Guinea.
- Advised China New Era Group and China Geo-Engineering Corporation on their €200m joint venture with Anglo-African Minerals.
- Acted for Vedanta Resources on the acquisition by its Indian listed subsidiary of approximately 90% of the paid up share capital of Electrosteel Steels Limited.
- Assisted South32 in relation to an internal restructuring of some of its UK operations.
Baker McKenzie's London mining team operates as part of the wider firm's global offering, and has historic strength in advising on international exploration and mining projects across the world. The practice's stellar client list also includes investors, traders, financiers and other key stakeholders, covering the full life cycle of mining projects. Recently, the group has been advising clients on the increasing demand for new battery materials and the impact of the ongoing energy transition. The practice added significant regulatory expertise during 2018 with the hire of Christopher Jones from the European Commission, where he had served as deputy director for energy, while former Clifford Chance LLP corporate partner Kathy Honeywood has also joined the team.
Richard Blunt; Mike Webster
Other key lawyers:
Mike Webster; Kathy Honeywood; Steve Abraham
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden)
Anglo Pacific Group
BCM International Group
Liontaine Holdings Ltd
- Advising Anglo-Pacific, the only listed company on the London Stock Exchange focused on royalties connected with the mining of natural resources, on a royalty acquisition.
- Advised BCM International Group on the acquisition of the Tabakoto gold mine in Mali from Endeavour Mining Corporation.
- Advised the borrower, Alliance Altyn, in connection with attracting a $180m project financing from VTB Bank for the construction of mining facilities and processing plant at Jerooy gold ore deposit in the Kyrgyz Republic.
- Advised Nyrstar on a high-value dispute with Century Mining Limited relating to legacy offtake agreements, as well as commercial arrangements.
- Assisted Severstal Management JSC on the proposed commission agreement between Cambay Services Limited and Avima Iron Ore Limited.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
The full-service mining offering at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP was recently strengthened by the arrival of project finance expert Tom Eldridge from Mayer Brown International LLP. His broad transactional experience covers project development, project finance, PPP/PFI, ECA/export finance and various forms of off-take and royalty finance. Under the leadership of Alexander Keepin, the team acts for major publicly traded mining companies, mining funds, as well as project finance lenders, offtakers, traders, investment banks and brokers specialising in the sector, and a number of governments, particularly in Africa.
Other key lawyers:
‘Sector specialists who also have broad ECM knowledge are rare in mining, but Alexander Keepin and the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner team provide this seamlessly.’
‘Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner provides regular transactional service in mining which is of an exceptional standard.’
‘Tom Eldridge is a very experienced, solutions-focused lawyer.’
‘Alexander Keepin has exceptional knowledge of the mining sector and equity capital markets transactions as well as M&A and DCM transactions. Alexander provides a consistently high standard of service, frequent attention and advice.’
‘Clients choose to work with Tom Eldridge on many deals, because he represents a top-level service. His advice is clearly put, of the highest quality, to the point and delivered without delay.’
Zanaga Iron Ore
JP Morgan Cazenove
- Advised Berkeley in connection with the admission of its ordinary shares to the standard listing segment of the Official List of the FCA and to trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange.
- Acted for Uranium Royalty Corporation on its cornerstoning of the Yellow Cake AIM IPO.
- Advised on the Main Market IPO of Danakali, the potash company focused on the development of the Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea.
- Assisting the mandated lead arrangers with the $120m project financing made available to Turkish joint venture company Acaia Maden Isletmeleri for the construction of the Gokimak copper mine in Kastamonu,
- Advising on the rescheduling and restructuring of a silver concentrates prepayment offtake agreement with Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd in relation to concentrates delivered from Mexican mines on behalf of Samsung C&T Corporation.
Clifford Chance LLP's global mining offering is jointly led by 'client-centric' corporate expert David Lewis and project finance specialist James Pay. The team acts for clients in the world's leading mining jurisdictions, including China, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Indonesia and key African jurisdictions including Guinea, Ghana, the DRC and South Africa. Recently, a particularly strong area of focus has been advising investors and lenders in relation to sanctions and other complex regulatory matters and changes of law. Also notable is the firm's capabilities in the restructuring space as well as the field of investment protection.
David Lewis; James Pay
‘Broad multi-specialist practice that can provide market-leading advice on a variety of areas, such as capital markets and tax.’
‘David Lewis is very client-centric.’
Guinea Bauxite Company
Pacific Wildcat Resources
- Representing a Bahraini company against an international mining company in LCIA arbitration in connection with disputes arising out of a long-term iron ore supply agreement as well as in relation to a replacement long-term supply agreement between the parties.
- Advising Arrowhead Resources Limited in an ICSID investment dispute with the Arab Republic of Egypt arising under the Australia-Egypt BIT.
- In coordination with its Perth and Hong Kong offices, the firm advised Churchill Mining Plc and Planet Mining Pty Ltd on an investor-state arbitration under the UK-Indonesia and Australia-Indonesia Bilateral Investment Treaties.
- Acted for Deutsche Bank in connection with its role as a senior creditor and new trade finance provider in the context of a complex cross-border restructuring.
- A cross-border team advised BNP Paribas, HSBC, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Santander UK as active bookrunners in the syndication of Glencore’s refinancing of its short-term revolving credit facilities.
The multi-disciplinary team at Fieldfisher is especially strong in the small-to-mid cap market, but advises the full spectrum of explorers, developers and producers, as well as investors, banks, metals traders, investment banks and brokers from its London and Paris offices on mining projects throughout the world. Jonathan Brooks' team recently successfully defended Atalaya in the Court of Appeal to confirm a previous High Court verdict which stated the client was not in breach of its contract with Astor Management.
‘This team is known for its good knowledge of the mining sector across public markets, debt market and M&A.’
‘Jonathan Brooks is extremely responsive, knowledgeable about the sector with a good range of contacts. He takes a commercial view, shows flexibility on billing and recovery of fees.’
‘Dominic Gurney-Champion gives clients good commercial advice across the piece and is able to bring in other partners on very specific advice. He is mindful of the costs and will always try to find an efficient way of reaching the desired outcome.’
Africa Finance Corporation
Amur Minerals Corporation
Atalaya Mining plc
Central Asia Metals plc
Dalradian Gold Limited
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Fusion Capital AG
KEFI Minerals plc
Kalahari Metals Limited
Kodal Minerals plc
Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd
Orion Minerals NL
SP Angel Corporate Finance
Strongbow Exploration Inc.
Terrafame Group Ltd
Traxys Europe S.A.
Vardar Minerals Limited
- Advising AIM-quoted Amur on a convertible loan facility of up to $10m with Cuart Investments PCC and YA II PN, in an investment consortium arranged by RiverFort Global Capital.
- Defended AIM and TSX-V-quoted Atalaya on its hearing in the Court of Appeal against a judgment of the High Court in London in March 2017, relating to a claim by Astor Management that deferred consideration due to it in relation to the Rio Tinto copper mine had become payable.
- Advised Dalradian on English legal and regulatory aspects of a transaction to take the formerly AIM and TSX-quoted company private, structured by way of a recommended takeover by Orion Mine Finance under a Canadian plan of arrangement.
- Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Bank of China’s $120m participation in a $295m syndicated loan arranged by EBRD to be made to JSC ShalkiyaZinc.
- Advised Kalahari Metals Limited on an investment agreement to give AIM-quoted Metal Tiger the right to acquire 50% of Kalahari Metals.
Hogan Lovells International LLP provides the full spectrum of legal services to mining and extractive businesses across the whole life cycle of projects. The team's enviable client roster includes both private and publicly traded mining companies engaged in the gold, copper, coal, iron, silver, nickel, diamond, uranium, and platinum industries. Adrian Walker's group also regularly advises financial institutions and other investors with interests in the sector. The international reach of the practice was significantly strengthened by the arrival of Arun Velusami and senior associate Shah Jahan Khandokar, who sits within the banking and finance group - both joined from Norton Rose Fulbright. Disputes partner Kieron O’Callaghan is praised for 'having the ear of clients'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Kieron O’Callaghan has experience in many forms of arbitration and is very much at home in energy disputes. He has the ear of clients because he is thoughtful, measured but also determined to get them the result they seek.’
- On behalf of ENRC, the team recently secured a significant Court of Appeal decision which has re-established the importance, and applicability, of legal professional privilege, including in the context of internal investigations.
- Acting for Cunico Resources in an investment claim against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia before ICSID.
- Representing a Russian high-net worth individual and businessman, who was served with an English Claim Form at Heathrow Airport for payment of moneys alleged to be owed under a partnership agreement in respect of mining investments in Russia.
- The firm cemented at appeal the victory it obtained at trial for Astor in the Commercial Court trial in a €60m dispute that examined, amongst other issues, the extent of a duty of good faith between contracting parties and the ambit of reasonable endeavours clauses.
Mayer Brown International LLP's recent mining highlights include its work for the Government of Oman on its plan to develop mining as one of five pillars of non-petroleum economic diversification currently being fast-tracked by the sultanate. The 'well respected' Ian Coles leads the London team, which works in tandem with the international firm's US and Asia counterparts on mining projects across the world, particularly in Latin America and South East Asia.
‘Very well respected leadership, particularly Ian Coles.’
‘Ian Coles is highly skilled and trusted. He has a unique ability to look through a complex problem and to charter a potential course through it.’
Africa Finance Corporation
Medea Future Materials Fund
Women in Mining
SRK Exploration Services
Sumitomo Corp Mining & Metals
- Represented UniCredit Bank and the EBRD in a $150m term facility for the construction and operation of Centerra Gold Inc’s Öksüt gold mine and related infrastructure in the Kayseri region of Turkey.
- Advising Société Générale, Investec and Ohridska Banka in their role as mandated lead arrangers in connection with the project financing of the SASA/DOO lead and zinc mine located in Macedonia.
- Represented pan-African multilateral development finance institution, Africa Finance in its role as lender on a $20.5m bridge facility and a $20m term loan facility.
- Acting for Medea on the $20m loan to ASX-listed Vector Resources in connection with its acquisition of the Adidi Kanga mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Advising SRK in its role as principal contractor in connection with the development of the Oman mining industry by the Government of Oman.
The London mining team at Milbank was recently boosted by the arrival of a four-partner restructuring team from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP including its former global financial restructuring co-chair Yushan Ng and partners Jacqueline Ingram, Karen McMaster and Sinjini Saha. The firm's wide-ranging mining finance capabilities were also bolstered by the addition of capital market partners Apostolos Gkoutzinis and Rebecca Marques and another nine lawyers from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Project finance veteran Phillip Fletcher retired at the end of 2018.
Mazer Ijaz; John Dewar
African Development Bank
Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund
Yellow Cake plc
- Advised the lending group in the context of a major project where Turquoise Hills Resources, Rio Tinto, and their respective advisers are working together to finalise a $4bn project financing facility for the Oyu Tolgoi Project.
- Acted for Yellow Cake as a specialist company to operate in the uranium sector and hold long term physical uranium on the successful listing of its ordinary shares on AIM.
- Advised a syndicate of seven lenders in connection with the $350m financing for the development and construction of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador.
- Advised the lenders n connection with the $900m financing for the development, financing, construction and operation of the Mina Justa copper-silver-gold mine located in the Ica region of Peru.
The mining offering at DLA Piper, which is led out of Sheffield by EMEA sector lead Petra Billing, aims to takes a holistic approach to client needs and provide sector-specific advice locally, nationally or internationally, drawing on the firm's huge global footprint. Sarah Thomas has significant experience of advising on major infrastructure projects, both in the UK and internationally and across a range of sectors, particularly focusing on the energy, mining, process and water sectors.
‘DLA Piper’s broad range of experience both in the UK and internationally adds new perspective and insight to clients’ businesses.’
‘The advice from DLA Piper on mineral property matters is second to none, which provides the necessary confidence to the operational side of the business. Petra Billing and Roger Collier are standout partners.’
‘This team truly delivers a unique level of unconditional care, attention and uncompromising support, many times under much pressure and frustration when circumstances beyond control pop up to complicate matters.
‘The mining lawyers at DLA Piper always find time to communicate, explain, elaborate, advise and generally offer a supporting hand.’
‘The team has the breadth of knowledge, commercial perspective and tenacity to resolve problems. Sandy Telfer is outstanding when it comes to mineral planning applications and Sheila Irvine shines in commercial property support for mineral and other commercial property transactions.’
‘Associates Nadia Gehlen and Jennifer Keogh provide quick and efficient turnaround.’
‘JP Douglas-Henry, Jamie Curle, Sean McGuiness and Bridgette De Bourbon continuously demonstrate their professionalism through 24/7 hard work, showing a genuine and unrestricted commitment to their clients.’
Government of Kenya
Aggregate Industries (UK) Limited/ LafargeHolcim
The Coal Authority
Ineos Upstream Limited
Republic of Guinea
Ibstock Brick Limited
Sibelco UK (Unimin)
Tata Steel UK Limited
- Acted for the Republic of Kenya in respect of an ICSID claim brought by the mining investor, Cortec with potential costs in excess of $3.5m.
- Ssupported the Ineos Group on its successful application for 21 petroleum exploration and development licences under the 14th UK Licensing Round.
- Advising the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of the Government of Afghanistan in relation to the award of three mining concessions for the exploration and exploitation of gold and copper projects.
- Advised Adenia Partners on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Kanu Equipment Limited.
- Advised Sibelco UK Limited on the taking of an Option for Lease relating to extensive mineral reserves at Chelmsford with potential deal value of £6m.
Gowling WLG's mining team, which has 'a deep knowledge and understanding' of the industry', has expertise across a range of matters, including AIM listings, project management and cross-border mandates, particularly with regards to joint ventures, farm-ins, equity, debt, project financing and broader corporate work. The firm's client roster primarily consists of small to mid-cap companies such as Hummingbird Resources and Bacanora Lithium, but also includes financial institutions, investment banks, individual directors and investors. Natural resources head Charles Bond leads the team, while principal associate Susan Johnston is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Charles Bond and his team provide excellent client service, with a deep knowledge and understanding of their clients’ businesses, the industry and the challenges they face. They are always available and willing to help with practical efficient advice. Their costs are competitive and critically they really do put service before invoicing and short term fees, to build long term relationships (which many firms do not). We see this team as our trusted advisers, and have been pleased to recommend them to other companies.’
‘User friendly, always available, sound, sensible, relevant and pragmatic advice.’
‘Personable, part of the team approach, always goes that bit further with advice, you feel as if it matters.’
‘Charles Bond and Susan Johnston are both excellent.’
‘Andrew Wright is extremely knowledgeable and experienced.’
Hummingbird Resources plc
Bushveld Minerals Ltd
AfriTin Mining Ltd
Firestone Diamonds plc
Eurasia Mining plc
Bacanora Minerals Ltd
Highland Gold Mining Ltd
Strategic Minerals plc
Phoenix Global Mining
- Acted for Firestone Diamonds in a firm placing, placing and open offer which raised gross proceeds of $25m through the issue of new ordinary shares to both institutional and other investors including the ongoing participation of two of the client’s major shareholders, RCF and Pacific Road.
- Advising Stellar Diamonds on its Tribute Mining Agreement and Revenue Sharing Agreement with Octea in relation to Octea’s Tonguma mining license in Sierra Leone which is adjacent to the client’s Tongo license.
- Handled the demerger of Greenhills Resources, which is now held 100% by AfriTin Mining, from client Bushveld Minerals.
- Represented Bacanora Lithium in its $460m debt and equity fundraising.
- Acted for Highland Gold Mining regarding the English law aspects of its acquisition of a gold mine and two significant license areas in Russia from Aristus Holdings.
HFW's mining offering is jointly led by Nick Hutton and Brian Gordon, who splits his time between Singapore and London as head of the global practice. The group has extensive experience in the development of greenfield mining projects, from the acquisition of mining and surface rights, through the construction of mine infrastructure, to the drafting of operating and off-take contracts. In recent highlights, the team advised a listed mining group on its sale by tender of a 30% interest in two major Indonesian mines for $1.3bn to a major Indian electricity generation company, and represented a London-based consortium on a large scale mining project in Northern Angola.
Nick Hutton; Brian Gordon
The mining team at Latham & Watkins continues to handle significant mining and metals instructions, advising across a variety of practice areas. Recent highlights include advising on the TALEX aluminum project in Dubai and the Alba Line 6 expansion project in Bahrain. Led by Craig R Nethercott, the cross-departmental group covers the full life cycle of mining projects and acts for clients in the downstream, midstream and upstream sectors.
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.
Norsk Hydro ASA
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C.
Mubadala Development Company PJSC
Royal Hill Mining
- Oversaw the acquisition by Volcan Investments of Vedanta Resources, a UK-based global diversified metals and mining company, representing the independent directors of Vedanta Resources.
- Advised SABIC Lenders on its $1bn issuance of 4% Guaranteed Notes due 2023; and $1bn issuance of 4.5% Guaranteed Notes due 2028.
- Representing the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration against Eco Oro Minerals Corp, under Chapter 8 of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
- Handled the acquisition by Norsk Hydro of Rio Tinto Iceland, an Iceland-based aluminium plant, of Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam, a Netherlands-based chemical plant, and of Alufluor, a Sweden-based producer of aluminium fluoride.
- Advised on a term loan facility forTaweelah Aluminium Extrusion Company, a UAE-based advanced aluminium extrusion plant, to refinance existing debt.
Pinsent Masons LLP continues to build upon its traditional strengths in the fields of construction and planning, translating its relationships into an enviable contractor client base and expanding its mining offering. Recently, the group has been advising on major UK-based projects, such as its work for Sirius Minerals subsidiary York Potash on the lease of land for storage facilities with Redcar Bulk Terminal. This facet of the practice has been bolstered by the arrival of construction specialist John Woolley from Dentons. The firm is also building up a record of regulatory mandates in the emerging markets of Africa.
Other key lawyers:
John Woolley; Jon Harris
Wishbone Gold plc
Aggregate Industries UK Limited
Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited
Patersons of Greenoakhill Limited
Hillhouse Quarry Group Limited
African Minerals Limited
Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines
- Advised Arden Partners as sole bookrunner on the $2m secondary placing carried out by Main Market-listed Rainbow Rare Earths Limited.
- Acted for Wishbone Gold on a capitalisation of directors’ fees and cancellation of $2m investment agreement, and termination and settlement of an equity sharing agreement.
- Overseeing the training of civil servants from numerous African countries on negotiation strategies and mineral policy for Ecole des Mines.
Simmons & Simmons' mining team is adept at advising on complex projects in emerging countries, as demonstrated by its work for De Beers on its new operations and purchasing arrangements in Sierra Leone. The practice's stellar client base also includes banks, alternative lenders, private equity investors and major mining companies, which Iain Duncan and his team advise on the full spectrum of matters. Key lawyers include 'exceptional' Paris-based partner Yves Baratte and the well-regarded Paul Baker in London.
‘Yves Baratte is exceptional. Very intelligent, but with outstanding soft skills in terms of client management and understanding our business. Extremely responsive.’
‘The uniqueness of this practice is largely driven by the qualities of Paul Baker. Paul is very responsive to client needs and very quick on the uptake.’
‘Exceptional knowledge and on-the-ground experience of francophone Africa. Particularly adept not just with their legal transactional skills, but in helping to manage relationships with host governments.’
Anglo American PLC/ Kumba Iron Ore / De Beers
Orion Resource Partners / Orion Mine Finance
Resource Capital Funds (RCF)
First Quantum Minerals Ltd
Macquarie Bank and Macquarie Capital
Africa Finance Corporation
Sumatra Copper & Gold PLC
- Advised Orion Mine Finance and Fusion Capital on the sale of Lynx Resources, the owner of the SASA zinc, lead and silver mine in the Republic of Macedonia, for $402.5m to Central Asia Metals.
- Acting for Gemfields Limited in the defence against allegations of human rights abuses said to have occurred at a mine in Mozambique, which is a joint venture part-owned by a Gemfields subsidiary.
- Assisting De Beers in connection with its purchase and export of diamonds in West Africa from artisanal miners as part of its Gemfair programme.
- Advising Orion Mine Finance on its debt financing arrangements in relation to Ongopolo Mining Limited’s copper project and on copper offtake arrangements relating from Ongopolo’s Tschudi open pit copper mine in Namibia.
- Represented the Indonesian Government in a bilateral treaty arbitration brought by Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited under the India-Indonesia BIT.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's London mining group is headed by Stewart Robertson and also includes Craig Jones. High profile matters the pair have advised on include acting for Centerra Gold on the ongoing restructuring of its Kumtor gold mine project in Kyrgyzstan. Other partners with experience of mining include London managing partner Richard Pollack , who also co-head's the firm's private equity group, who has a track record of advising prestigious clients such as BP on high-value and strategic corporate matters. Vanessa Blackmore has substantial experience on the capital markets front, while European credit and leveraged finance practice head Presley Warner is a key name on the banking and finance side. Jamieson Logie recently relocated to the US firm's Hong Kong office to head up the Asia-Pacific projects practice.
Bird & Bird LLP's London mining offering was kickstarted in 2017, when Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The team, which has since recruited two more lawyers, regularly represents African state-owned entities, public and private corporations, institutional and private investors, among others, on the full spectrum of mining matters, while also draw on the wider firm's credentials in technology and intellectual property. The 'personable' Hopewell is regarded as 'one of the go-to lawyers in the natural resources sector'.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Knight; Adam Carling; Nicholas Heap; Sharon O’Donnell
‘This is a professional team that will always go the extra mile without fuss or negotiating.’
‘Bird & Bird is known for its strong industry knowledge combined with exceptional transaction experience.’
‘The firm fields a senior team dedicated to client coverage, particularly in the AIM space. It is renowned for its practical approach in dealing with issues.’
‘Bird & Bird provides practical and solid legal advice in pressured and difficult circumstances. Clive Hopewell and Nick Heap are valued advisers.’
‘Clive Hopewell is one of the go-to lawyers in the natural resources sector.’
‘Clive Hopewell is personable, quick to respond to queries and has a no nonsense/point-scoring approach.’
‘Senior associate Sharon O’Donnell has outstanding knowledge of the natural resources space.’
Canaccord Genuity Limited
Asiamet Resources Limited
Jangada Mines Plc
Harvest Minerals Limited
Randgold Resources Ltd (now Barrick Gold)
Hannam & Partners
- Assisting Canaccord Genuity, a Canadian full-service investment banking and financial services company, with the listing of Kore Potash Limited on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised LKAB Minerals on its acquisition of the business of Francis Flower, comprising two companies Francis Flower (Northern) Ltd and Gurney Slade Lime & Stone Ltd.
- Acted for Asiamet Resources Limited on two placings of new shares in 2018 to raise totals of $10m and $3.3m respectively.
- Represented Regius Resources Group Limited in connection with the acquisition of nine ruby assets in Mozambique by Fura Gems Inc. from Mustang Resources Ltd (ASX-listed) and Regius for a total consideration of A$15m, payable in cash and shares.
- Overseeing the management of a global trade mark portfolio – involving brand clearance, brand protection and associated enforcement action – for Gemfields.
The mining team at Clyde & Co LLP is especially strong in emerging markets and covers the full supply chain of natural resources, from discovery to closure. On the contentious front, the group advised the insurers of a large consulting engineering firm in relation to Federal Court of Australia proceedings which alleged that it was responsible for the collapse of underground mine workings, and advised one of the world’s largest commodities traders on the acquisition of 96 mining licenses in Brazil. Maurice Kenton and Christopher Duffy lead the team.
Maurice Kenton; Christopher Duffy
Other key lawyers:
Philip Mace; Peter Hirst
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
At litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, the mining disputes team sits under the banner of the broader energy and natural resources practice. Under the leadership of Ted Greeno, the group handles a broad spectrum of cases concerning every stage of the mining process, from disputes over the operation of mining concessions and breaches of drilling and mining services contracts, to those arising under mining offtake and marketing agreements, project finance and trade finance loan facilities, and investment treaty arbitrations. The firm also has strong capabilities in the tax disputes space.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Jagusch QC; Anthony Sinclair; Jenni Lajzerowicz
Samax Resources Ltd
Geita Gold Mine Ltd
North Mara Gold Mine Ltd
- Represented AngloGold Ashanti’s local Ghanaian subsidiary in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Ghana pursuant to an ICSID arbitration clause in a concession agreement initially seeking a value of $422.9m.
- Represented a mining company in an international commercial arbitration against the Government of Tanzania seeking a settlement value worth over $1bn in relation to a dispute over the impact of new laws to regulate the mining sector.
- Represented North Mara Gold Mine in a dispute against Diamond Motors Limited over a drilling services contract for a mine site in Tanzania, relating to an arbitration award as well as further claims concerning breaches of contract.
Key names in Shearman & Sterling LLP's mining offering include project development and finance specialist Nicholas Buckworth, the US firm's former London head, and his successor as City chief, Matthew Readings, who heads up the firm's global antitrust group. The global metals and mining practice is led out of New York by Cynthia Urda Kassis. Recently promoted partner Anthony Lepere and senior associate Tom Pound, who recently joined from Baker McKenzie, are also well regarded.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Energy and natural resources is one of the core pillars of Watson Farley & Williams LLP's global practice. In London, the firm's offering - which is led by finance and corporate expert Jan Mellmann - regularly advises on high-stakes M&A transactions, international disputes, regulatory changes and legislation drafting, as well as contractual negotiations.
Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd
MRI Trading AG
- Advised long-term client Chaarat Gold on the acquisition by one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Chaarat Gold International Limited, of Kapan Mining and Processing CJSC.
- Advising long-term client Chaarat Gold on the successful placements of $40m convertible secured loans with both new and existing investors.
- Assisted Daniel Stewart as corporate adviser and broker to Peruvian gold and silver producer VI Mining on its admission to trade on London’s NEX Exchange Growth Market.
- Acted for long-term client Chaarat Gold on its $20m placement of a mixture of equity and short term Senior Secured Convertible Loan Notes to selected investors.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a multidisciplinary mining team, comprising capabilities in corporate, commercial, banking, litigation and real estate. Corporate partner Andrew Collins sits at the head of the sector group which covers a wide range of issues including farm-in and farm-out agreements, financing transactions, private placings and IPOs, as well as competition and regulatory matters.
The mining team at CMS, which is jointly led by London-based duo partner Christopher Bowes and Chris Rae, advises on all aspects of minerals and waste planning including appeals, infrastructure agreements and restoration obligations for a client roster including Tarmac, Sibelco and Marshalls. Bowes is a planning specialist, while Rae focuses on real estate matters.
Chris Bowes; Chris Rae
‘The mining team at CMS has a combination of a deep understanding of the mineral and waste management sector, specialist legal skills, and a solution-oriented approach.’
North York Moors National Park Authority
Hargreaves Services plc
- Provided advice in connection with a controversial minerals planning appeal at Messingham Quarry, advising on a complex appeal and parallel planning applications.
- Advising the majority of the UK’s leading waste management contractors on all regulatory aspects of landfill of former quarries and on the acquisition and divestiture of former quarry landfills.
- Advising North York Moors National Park Authority on planning matters relating to the Sirius Minerals potash project in North Yorkshire.
At Dentons, the mining offering covers corporate and M&A matters including share and business transactions, fund matters and equity capital markets under the leadership of Neil Nicholson. Other key names include Will Gunston and Evgenia Laurson, who focus on insolvency and restructuring and project financing matters respectively.
The corporate finance lawyers at Druces LLP handle transactions for mining companies which range from equity capital raising for early stage exploration companies, through to the issue of listed debt to fund the acquisition of operating assets, and substantial takeovers. The group also handles disputes and bilateral investment treaty arbitration, while the tax team advises on international structures. The offering was significantly bolstered by the firm's merger with Ronaldsons in 2018 which added Dominic Traynor and Stephen Ronaldson to its broader corporate practice. Associate Jack Kemmish also joined from Kerman & Co .
Other key lawyers:
‘The Druces lawyers are down to earth and just get on with things. They have a very wide range of skills but as a medium-sized team are willing to admit where they may have a gap in knowledge or experience. It is very refreshing.’
‘Druces provides a full range of relevant advisory services. Clients frequently instruct them for M&A, fundraising, share option schemes, Market Abuse Regulations, HR contracts, major supplier contracts, company secretarial and general corporate advice.’
‘Dominic Traynor has experience of both advising and being part on the board of directors for natural resources companies.’
‘Dominic Traynor is very knowledgeable on corporate and governance matters. He is particularly commercially savvy and has good knowledge of the sectors he supports. He is good at finding solutions to problems and is very personable and reliable.’
Alexander Mining PLC
Greatland Gold PLC
Katoro Gold PLC
Kibo Energy PLC
Red Rock Resources PLC
Regency Mines PLC
Rockfire Resources PLC
Savannah Resources PLC
Thor Mining PLC
- Advised AIM-listed Savannah Resources PLC on its £11.5m fundraising.
- Advising SigmaRoc on the £15m acquisition of CCP Building Products.
- Represented Cradle Arc plc in a £5.5m fundraising, acquisition of a copper mine in Botswana and re-admission to AIM.
- Handled the disposal of Kibo Nickel to Standard-listed Opera Investments plc and its subsequent de-listing from the Standard List and admission to AIM.
- Advised Amedeo Resources PLC on the production of a circular and announcements seeking shareholder approval for the company delisting from AIM.
The London team at Canada-headquartered firm Fasken represents a diverse client roster of brokers, corporates, mining companies, banks and investors. Jodi Katz , Thomas Wexler and managing partner Al Gourley are some of the key names to note. The firm has substantial experience in cross-border transactions, IPOs and corporate finance mandates within the natural resources sector.
Fladgate LLP's full-service offering has built up a particularly strong presence in the emerging markets of Africa and Eastern Europe, and the firm's recent recruitment of Sandra Bates - who specialises in complex, cross-border transactions - from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has bolstered its capabilities on mandates involving Canadian capital markets and Canadian public and private companies. The group recently advised TransGlobe Energy Corporation on its introduction to AIM, becoming the first AIM company listed on three separate major stock markets.
Paul Airley; Nigel Gordon
Tri-Star Resources plc
Cenkos Securities plc
Chesterfield Resources plc
Jubilee Metals Group plc
SP Angel / Sula Iron & Gold
Vast Resources Plc
Avesoro Resources Inc
Pan African Resources
- Advised AIM-listed Tri-Star Resources, a technology and mineral processing company, on a number of matters including a $6m investment in Oman joint venture company SPMP and a £4.4m open offer to shareholders through the issue of new ordinary shares.
- Advised AIM and Alt-X listed Jubilee Metals Group on the £2.8m acquisition of a 29% interest in BMR Group.
- Advised SP Angel on a placing for Sula Iron & Gold plc to acquire a cobalt licence.
- Advised a mining company on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital an exploration company on a share for share basis, raising £2m by way of a placing and a subscription.
- Advised an AIM listed mining company with operations in Romania and Zimbabwe, on the provision of funding for a Romanian minerals company with a substantial interest in a brown field perimeter in the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ of Western Romania.
K&L Gates LLP
The mining team at K&L Gates LLP has particularly strengths in equity capital markets work, dispute resolution and environmental law, as well as advising on competition and trade regulations. The London team, led by Paul Tetlow, advises on both domestic UK deals and international matters for a varied client roster which includes industry associations such as the Cobalt Institute and the European Precious Metals Federation.
Other key lawyers:
Lucapa Diamond Company Limited
Mozmin Resources Pty Limited
Rich Pro Investments Limited
Orica Minova Ekochem
Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka S.A.
Freeport McMoran Inc.
Climax Molybdenum, B.V.
Bellzone Mining PLC
International Molybdenum Association
- Advised Rich Pro Investments Limited on its takeover of ASA Resource Group PLC.
- Advised Bellzone Mining, a company developing the Kalia iron ore resource in the Republic of Guinea, on a successful non-pre-emptive cash-box placing to raise £1.6m.
- Advised Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka on major dispute with Acciona Construcción and Mostostal Warsawa.
- Advising Climax Molybdenum/International Molybdenum Association on regulatory issues.
The natural resources team at London commercial and corporate firm Kerman & Co advises a mix of mining clients on public and private M&A, debt and equity financing, disputes and commercial contracts. The group, led by Peter Kohl, is especially strong with regards to transactions for companies quoted on the Main Market and AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Una Deretic and Joan Yu are also key names.
Jade Resources Limited
Panthera Resources Plc
Gerald Metals Groups
Highcountry Cameroon Limited
Metals Exploration Plc
Capital Metals Ltd
ARC Minerals Ltd
- Advised Panthera Resources Plc on its admission to AIM.
Memery Crystal LLP's team is focused on equity capital markets transactions for mining companies, particularly those with projects in Africa, and maintains a strong reputation in advising on listings on AIM and the Main Market, as well as secondary fundraisings and dual listings. The group also advises on M&A, debt finance and private equity investments in the mining sector.
Michael Dawes; Nick Davis
‘The Memery Crystal team is exceptionally competent and hard working, with nothing ever being ‘too much’. What really makes this team stand out is its strategic commercial approach to many legal situations and the open, friendly, family manner in which it interacts with clients.’
‘The team always conducts itself in a professional manner and its strengths lie across all elements of work streams as part of their mandate. The practice’s key capabilities are closely aligned with minerals and mining which means it is perfectly poised to assist clients in getting the best outcome possible.’
‘It is their individual levels of competence, their willingness and ability to work long hard hours whenever the situation demands, and the open and friendly way in which they continue to interact with their clients, no matter how large the challenge, that sets the Memery Crystal attorneys apart from the rest.’
‘This group engages in proactive thinking as opposed to reactive actions. Clients should value its transparency, efficiency and quality of work as well as its attention to detail.’
MOD Resources Ltd
Rainbow Rare Earths
Shanta Gold Ltd
- Advised Danakali on its dual listing on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market.
- Acted for Kropz on its admission to AIM, fundraising and its $40m acquisition of Cominco Resources.
- Assisted Shanta Gold Limited with its partial buyback and rollover of a convertible mini bond.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's mining team covers the buying, selling, financing and transport of raw materials as well as issues in the transport sector, especially contractual matters and disputes. In New York, arbitration and commercial litigation expert Kyri Evagora is the key name on the contentious front, while Jonathan Solomon leads the EMEA and South East Asia trade and commodities trade practice.
Stephens Scown LLP
The mining experts at South West firm Stephens Scown LLP provide a full service, covering corporate acquisitions and commercial advice, property, planning and regulatory approvals, as well as strong litigation capabilities from its offices in Devon and Cornwall. The group has a strong track record in advising on new UK mining developments for clients such as Wolf Minerals and Strongbow Exploration.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Gawler; Chris Tofts; Sarah-Jane Williams
‘The entire team is excellent throughout and has a very user-friendly approach.’
‘This is a specialist minerals team.’
The Imerys Group
Strongbow Exploration Inc/Strongbow Exploration UK
Raymond Brown Group
E & JW Glendinning Limited
Portland Stone Firms Limited
Cornwall Resources Limited
GD Harries & Co
- Advising on the proposed listing of Canadian mining company, Strongbow Exploration Inc, on the London AIM Stock Exchange.
- Advised on the Secured Note Financing of Strongbow Exploration by Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd in relation to the reopening of a Cornish tin mine.
- Acting for one of the landowners in relation to the purchase by Homes England of a former china clay works near Marsh Mills in Plymouth which it is expected will become a development of more than 600 homes.
- Acting for the tenant in relation to the grant of a new mineral lease in respect of existing operations.
- Advising on an agreement between a landlord and tenant to decommission a site with a history of long-running minerals relating processing.