Mining in South Africa
ENSafrica has one of the most rounded mining practices in South Africa. From mining law to mining M&A and mine health and safety, the firm is at the forefront of the industry. It advised Sibanye Gold on its $2.7bn cross-border acquisition of Stillwater, a transaction that transformed the client into a genuine global mining giant. The firm's chief operating officer Otsile Matlou is a leading mining law specialist with a fine record across sub-Saharan Africa. Lloyd Christie has a fine reputation in environmental and regulatory matters and Willem le Roux has unrivalled experience in mine occupational health and safety. Ian Hayes is a leader in mining M&A.
Norton Rose Fulbright has a strong mining practice with market-leading expertise in mining law, mining M&A, regulatory issues and disputes. It is at the forefront of procurement and black economic empowerment (BEE) issues, and community-related advisory matters and disputes. The group is active across the mineral range, most notably in coal, iron ore and platinum and is seeing growth in battery materials. Clients praise the team's industry knowledge with Michael Dale an expert of mining law and Kevin Cron a leader in mining M&A, who is commended for his 'knowledge and experience'. Georg Kahle provides further M&A expertise, while Andre Vos and Jeffrey Kron are prominent mining-sector litigators.
Webber Wentzel is noted for its illustrious mining client base, the breadth of its practice across sub-Saharan Africa and its sheer depth of expertise and resources. The firm has 'excellent legal connections' in 'neighbouring countries' according to one client. It has over 40 partners and 80 other lawyers that operate in the mining sphere. The firm advised Rustenburg Platinum Mines on the disposal of its 85% interest in Union Mine and its 50.1% interest in Masa Chrome Company to a subsidiary of Siyanda Resources. Mining M&A specialist Bruce Dickinson is 'knowledgeable and personable' and provides 'advice that is to the point'. Mining law expert Manus Booysen is also highly reputed and Jonathan Veeran is recommended for regulatory matters. Rita Spalding and health and safety specialist Kate Collier are also highly regarded.
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr continues to demonstrate its leading credentials in transactions and regulatory issues. The firm is active across the mineral range, including in platinum, chrome and manganese, and acts for mining majors, mid-tier and juniors. It advised Eastern Platinum on its acquisition of Rustenburg Platinum Mines' 42.5% participation interest in the Pandora Joint Venture. Allan Reid is a recognised mining regulatory leader and Giada Masina is also highly rated.
FASKEN's global emphasis on the mining sector has enabled the Johannesburg team to work on an increasing number of cross-border deals. It is noted for its community expertise, increasing regulatory skills, eminent record in the platinum sector and its growing coal sector standing. A team led by communities expert Lucas Moalusi advised Mapela Traditional Community on its recent settlement agreement with Anglo American Platinum. Stimela Mokoena is making an impression in mining M&A.
Hogan Lovells (South Africa) has developed a rounded team, with expertise across the spectrum, including in regulatory, health and safety, environmental matters and transactions. Key clients include Glencore, South32, Kumba Iron Ore and a number of mid-tier players. The group advised Northern Coal on the disposal of its South African coal mining and beneficiation assets to Msobo Coal. Senior name Warren Beech is noted for his regulatory and health and safety experience and Nicholas Veltman is an emerging name in mining transactions.
Werksmans Attorneys has continued to cement its already formidable regulatory position, thanks to the presence of mining law leader Chris Stevens. The team has built closer connections to the Anglo Group, including Anglo Coal and Anglo Platinum; South32, Golfields and Glencore are also key clients. It is a leader in mining M&A too and advised Samancor Chrome on its acquisition of Hernic Ferrochrome Mine.
Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is recognised for mining M&A, including BEE transactions. The team has a strong emphasis on junior mining houses and advised Pan African Resources on the disposal of its shares in Phoenix Platinum Mining to Sylvania Resources. Morné van der Merwe and Marc Yudaken are experienced mining M&A partners.
Bowmans continues to build its mining client base and is especially recognised for mining M&A and environmental matters. It has 'a highly competent mining and M&A team', with Charles Young leading on M&A and Wandisile Mandlana on mining law. The team advised Harmony Gold on its $300m acquisition of the Moab Khotsong mine, the Great Noligwa mine and related infrastructure from AngloGold Ashanti. Claire Tucker is noted for environmental issues.
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP is a global titan in mining and is building a strong profile in Africa thanks to the presence of leading name Peter Leon. The Johannesburg team is active in matters across the continent, including in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. It is uniquely positioned for Francophone Africa with French-qualified Bertrand Montembault a key member of the team. Clients include Norilsk Nickel, Anglo American, Harmony Gold and BHP Billiton.