Overview

The mining industry is a core business area for Mayer Brown. Decades of advising the sector have given us an in-depth understanding of the industry’s unique characteristics and the needs of our clients. Mayer Brown's global Mining group works throughout the world, advising clients on a wide variety of transactions including project finance, environmental, corporate, construction, insurance and commodities matters.

Our lawyers have extensive experience of the day-to-day legal, financial and operational issues faced by mineral producers and those who provide finance to the industry sector.

  • "Mayer Brown is definitely on top of the league, having the benefit of a highly experienced team." – Chambers UK 2018
  • "Clients appreciate what they describe as "a customer service-oriented firm" made up of "fantastic people, with an extremely strong skill set." – Chambers Global 2018
  • "They are fantastic. They are the first ones I go to and I rely on them fully - I couldn't ask for a better legal adviser." – Chambers UK 2017

The services we offer our clients include:

  • Finance advice on project finance (both traditional bank debt and finance sourced in the capital markets), alternative sources of finance such as, streaming, loyalty arrangements, prepayment facilities, equipment financing, offtaker finance advice on related issues such as hedging, both as to structuring and documentation and in connection with regulatory aspects, as well as negotiating, reviewing and drafting leases, assignments, operating and exploration agreements, as well as mining concessions.
  • Corporate Finance advice on raising debt and equity in the capital markets.
  • Construction & Engineering advice on EPC, EPCM and other project contracts, with onshore and offshore structures, co-ordination and offtake agreements and performance security.
  • Corporate M&A advice on mergers, joint ventures and strategic investments, as well as property exchanges, acquisitions and disposals of producing and undeveloped assets.
  • Environment and planning advice on the engagement of environmental and planning consultants, environmental impact assessments and the Equator Principles, review of permissions and consents, allocation of environmental risk, advice in respect of REACH and corporate social responsibility policies.

These services are provided by lawyers who are qualified in a broad cross-section of jurisdictions and who, in many cases, speak several different languages. They are used to advising on major mining transactions and often have direct personal experience of working in the countries where projects are taking place.

  • Ranked Band One in "Energy & Natural Resources: Mining: International" - Chambers UK 2018, 2017, 2016
  • Ranked Band One in "Projects & Energy: Mining & Minerals Africa-wide" - Chambers Global 2018

Our global Mining team consists of a number of leading individuals and is ranked in the top tier of legal providers for mining and minerals by the leading independent legal directory guides. In recent years, we have consistently been involved in the most interesting deals in the industry, many of which have been independently recognized as outstanding. These include:

  • Lynx Resources (Macedonia) – Project Finance Deal of the Year 2016 - Trade & Forfaiting Review
  • Yaramoko Gold (Burkina Faso) – "Africa – Mining and Metals Deal of the Year 2015" IJGlobal Europe & Africa Awards
  • Cerro Verde (Peru) - Best Mining Financing; Best Loan 2014 LatinFinance
  • Endeavour Mining (Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali) – African Mining Deal of the Year 2013 Project Finance Magazine
  • Wolf Minerals (Devon, southwest England) – European Mining & Metals Deal of the Year 2013 Project Finance Magazine
  • New Liberty (Liberia) – Development Funding Deal of the year 2013 Mining Journal
  • Boseto (Botswana) - African Mining Deal of the Year 2011 Project Finance Magazine
  • Kwale mineral sands project (Kenya) – Development Funding Deal of the Year 2011 & 2006 Mining Journal and Africa Mining Deal of the Year 2011 Project Finance International
  • Boleo mine (Mexico) – Latin America Mining Deal of the Year 2010 Project Finance International; Exploration and Development Funding Award Mining Journal
  • Bisha project (Eritrea) - Africa Mining Deal of the Year 2009 Project Finance Magazine
  • First Quantum Minerals (Zambia, Mauritania, DRC) – Deal of the Year 2007 Project Finance Magazine; Trade Finance Magazine
  • Talvivaara (Finland) – European Mining Deal of the Year 2007 Project Finance Magazine 2007
  • Tiomin (Kenya) – Development Funding Deal of the Year 2006 Mining Journal
  • Voshkod Chrome (Kazakhstan) – European Mining Deal of the Year 2006 Project Finance Magazine
  • Kupol Gold & Silver (Russia) – EMEA Mining Deal of the Year 2005 Project Finance Magazine, Project Finance International

In addition to the above awards, we were awarded Infrastructure/Energy Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2012 and recognized as a stand-out firm at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards 2011 for our instrumental role in the development of a legal framework for Afghanistan’s mining industry.

Related Capabilities

Experience

We have extensive mining experience around the world, including:

Americas
Asia
Europe
Africa

Americas 

Brazil

  • We represented a major company in the Brazilian mining sector in a total equity participation sale.
  • We advising ArcelorMittal Brasil on litigation regarding the company’s name.
  • We advised major company in the Brazilian mining sector on the sale of mining assets.
  • We advised Vale S/A on the sale and transfer of aluminum division, including port facilities, pipeline, farms and smelter and refinery plants.
  • We advised a leading energy and resources private equity firm on the restructuring their investments in Brazilian mining.

Chile

  • We advised Mitsubishi and subsidiary company, MC Inversiones, on the purchase of a 25% stake in Chilean mining enterprise, Compañía Minera del Pacifico.
  • We advised the lenders in respect of a loan to a mining company in connection with the refinancing of an existing project finance facility for the Franke copper mining project in Chile.
  • We represented JECO 2 LTD, a joint venture owned by Mitsubishi Corporation, Nippon Mining & Metals Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, in the purchase of an interest in Minera Escondida Limitada, the largest copper mine in the world.

Peru

  • We advised Société Générale and Scotiabank on the financing of an acquisition of a copper mine in Peru.
  • We represented The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., BNP Paribas, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. in a US $1.8 billion financing for Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde S.A.A. The proceeds will be used to finance a portion of the cost of the US $4.6 billion expansion of the Cerro Verde copper and molybdenum mining complex in Peru.
  • We advised Credit Suisse with respect to its $130 million financing of the acquisition by Compania Minera Milpo of a controlling interest in Compania Minera Atacocha, a Peruvian mining company.

Uruguay

  • We advised on the debt project financing for the development of San Gregorio gold mine.

Mexico

  • We advised the lenders (including a number of ECAs) on the project financing and restructuring of a zinc, copper, cobalt and magnesium mine in Baja California Sur.
  • We represented Credit Suisse as Administrative Agent and as Lender with respect to a $90 million secured credit facility for a publicly traded Mexican mining company.

The United States

  • We represented NM Rothschild Sons Ltd. as agent in project financing for development of the Fort Knox gold mine in Alaska.
  • We represented bank of Nova Scotia as initial lender and Scotia Capital as arranger of a $380 million acquisition financing for Hecla Mining Company to purchase all of the equity interests in the Greens Creek mine and related venture near Juneau, as well as several follow-on financings.
  • We represented the agent on a limited recourse financing for the expansion of Copper smelter, mine and SX/EW operation in Miami, now owned by Freeport.
  • We represented the lender in a leveraged lease financing the Silver Bell Mining, L.L.C.’s mine and facilities in Pima County.
  • We represented Bayerische Hype- und Vereinsbank AG on the project of financing of the Bowie Mine.
  • We represented the Bank of Nova Scotia as agent in the financing for the construction of Lundin’s Eagle Mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  • We represented successive agents for lenders groups in several development financings for Stillwater Mining company, used to refinance existing credit facilities and to fund the expansion of palladium mines in Nye and East Boulder.
  • We represented NGPC Asset Holdings as administrative agent in a $36 million term loan and mezzanine financing for Alden Resources and the related acquisition by Alden of Specialty Coal Processing and Goodin Greek Mining.
  • We represented Loan Tree Mining Gold on a loan financing for a mine in Nevada.
  • We represented on a gold loan financing for a new mine involving rabbit Creek Mining.
  • We represented Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation in a gold loan financing for a new mine in Humboldt County.
  • We represented NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd. as agent in the financing of the development of the Bullfrog Mine in Nevada.
  • We represented parties in financing and development transactions or gold and silver mines for many years, in places such as Hycroft, Mesquite and Hayden Hill.

Cross Border 

  • We represented large steel producer in three AAA or ICDR cases involving pricing, quantity and delivery disputes relating to long-term iron ore contracts. Many of the issues were related to the changes in the world markets due to the abandonment of the annual benchmark system by the world’s three largest iron ore mining companies. The disputes were resolved in a ‘global’ settlement.
  • We represented a Brazilian steel producer in an AAA/ICDR arbitration brought by a U.S. coal company. The dispute concerned whether our client was excused from taking full contract amounts of metallurgical coal during Global Economic Crisis in 2008-2009. The matter settled on terms favourable to our client.
  • We represented utility owners in federal court in breach of contract claims against a coal company for failing to have coal mine producing and delivering sufficient coal to meet contractual requirements. Many of the coal company’s defenses related to alleged force majeure events when the coal company had difficulty obtaining a dragline due to an increased world demand for mining equipment and from the delays in the erection of the dragline.
    • We advised the sponsor on a credit facility for Yamana Gold, a Canadian mining company with operations across Central and South America.

Asia 

Afghanistan

  • We advising the Afghanistan Government in the development of a legislative and regulatory framework as well as in the implementation of a tendering process for the country’s mining industry.

Australia

  • We advised on the proposed project financing of Forrestania nickel deposit operated by Outokumpu.
  • We acted for CITIC Pacific in relation to Stock Exchange compliance aspects of the acquisition by a wholly-owned subsidiary of CITIC Pacific of mining rights over potentially 6 billion tonnes of magnetite ore over an area in the western Pilbara region of Western Australia located near the mouth of the Fortescue River for US$215 million plus estimated capital expenditure of US$1.37 billion for the first 1 billion tonnes of magnetite ore, and for US$200 million plus estimated capital expenditure of US$1.1 billion for the second 1 billion tonnes of magnetite ore.

China

  • We advised in connection with the financing and development of Jianchaling gold mine.

Indonesia

  • We advised a client on regulatory barriers to its investment in Batu Hijau copper/gold mining project.
  • We advised PT Indika Energy Tbk, an integrated Indonesian energy group, on the issuance of US$500 million of Indo Energy Finance II B.V.’s 6.375% senior notes due 2023. The landmark bond issue represents the first Southeast Asia U.S. dollar-denominated high yield new issue in 2013 and the first Indonesian issuer within the “single-B” ratings category to complete a 10-year U.S. dollar-denominated bond offering. Furthermore, this deal bears the lowest coupon and yield ever achieved for a 10-year Asian high yield corporate issue.
  • We advised on the exchange offer of Indo Integrated Energy B.V.’s 8.50% Senior Notes due 2012 for Indo Energy Finance B.V.’s 7.00% Senior Notes due 2018, together with simultaneous consent solicitations for the 2012 Notes and Indo Integrated Energy II B.V.’s 9.75% Senior Notes due 2016. This transaction represents one of the most complex liability management transactions from Indonesia in recent years.

Kazakhstan

  • We advised the lenders on the $90 million financing of the Karchiga Project.
  • We advised the lenders on a loan facility to Oriel Resources plc, a London based chrome and nickel mining and processing company for the Voskhod Chrome Project.

Kyrgyzstan 

  • We advised on the development and financing of Kumtor gold mine.
  • We advised Chaarat Gold Holdings on an international tender for its gold processing plant and related infrastructure in the Kyrgyz Republic, including drafting a lump sum turnkey EPC contract for the project.

Mongolia

  • We advised in connection with the financing of the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.

Tajikistan

  • We advised a foreign investor in a joint venture with Tajik mining enterprise in respect of a project to explore and develop a precious metals deposit in the northern region of Tajikistan.

Turkmenistan

  • We advised the Government of Turkmenistan with respect to certain natural resource ventures with foreign companies.

Uzbekistan

  • We advised on the development of Amantaytau and Daugystau gold deposits.

Vietnam

  • We advised a Chinese company on its acquisition of a TNX listed nickel mining enterprise.
  • We advised CAT Financial as lender in connection with a mining equipment lease financing for PT Machinery & Equipment (aka Phu Thai Leasing) for the development of the Dong Bac coal mine in Vietnam.

Europe 

Armenia

  • We advised the finance parties on the US$150 million revolving credit facility for the Dundee Group operating in Namibia, Armenia and Bulgaria.

Bulgaria

  • We advised the finance parties on the US$150 million revolving credit facility for the Dundee Group operating in Namibia, Armenia and Bulgaria.

Finland

  • We advised Nordic Mines on the financing of a gold mine in Finland and on restructuring of the project finance facilities provided by its lenders.
  • We advised the lenders on the financing and refinancing of a nickel mine in Sotkamo Finland being developed by Talvivaara.
  • We advised the lenders on the financing of the Kevitsa mine in Finland.

Greenland

  • We advised clients in connection with the potential financing of the Nalunaq gold project.
  • We are advising on a royalty arrangement in connection with a uranium mine.

Ireland

  • We advised the financiers of a debt project financing for development of Galmoy zinc mine.

Portugal 

  • We advised the lenders in relation to the financing of a zinc mine.

Russia

  • We advised on the project financing for the Kupol gold mine in Eastern Russia, the largest mining project in Russia to date. The team also acted on the subsequent corporate loan financing for the development of the mine.
  • We advised a manufacturer of longwall mining equipment in an ICC arbitration in London brought by the owner of a coal mine in Western Siberia who was seeking to recover more than $100 million for alleged breach of contract and breach of warranties due to alleged defects in the design and manufacturing of the equipment and for late delivery. The matter involved significant engineering issues. After a four week evidentiary hearing, the Tribunal issued an award substantially upholding our clients’ position.

Spain

  • We advised the sponsor on the project financing of the Aguas Teñidas copper-zinc mine.

Sweden

  • We advising the lenders on the financing of an iron ore mine.

Turkey

  • We advised the lenders on the financing and development of a gold mine in the Erzincan province of Turkey.
  • We advised the sponsors on the financing of a nickel mine.

Ukraine

  • We advised the project sponsors on the project financing for the development of a coal mine, with two vertical shafts with a depth of over 900m.

United Kingdom

  • We advised Wolf Minerals in equity fundraising by way of an institutional placing for gross proceeds of approximately £100 million for the construction and development of the Hemerdon tungsten and tin project in Devon (expected in 2016).
  • We advised Wolf Minerals Limited on its AIM listing and on the project financing for the construction and development of a tin and tungsten mine in Hemerdon, Devon.
  • We advised Insinger de Beaufort in relation to the admission to AIM of Pan Pacific aggregates plc, now Astar Minerals Plc.
  • We advised the German equipment suppliers in connection with a dispute with its local JV partner relating to the Boulby Potash mine in Yorkshire

Africa 

Botswana

  • We advised Discovery Metals on the project financing of the Boseto copper mine.

Burkina Faso

  • We advised a project sponsor on the project financing of the Inata gold mine in Burkina Faso, from mining licence through to project documents and financing.
  • We advised the finance parties on the restructuring of the US$200 million facility, following the acquisition of a key Canadian mining group, with combined gold operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
  • We advised the lenders on the project financing of two gold mines in Burkina Faso.

Central African Republic

  • We advised the project sponsor in connection with the project financing and development of a goldmine.

Congo-Brazzaville

  • We advised a Swiss offtaker on the first project financing and offtake agreement for the Kouilou Potash Project, a proposed US$412 million development.

Côte D’Ivoire

  • We advised the finance parties on the US$350 million restructured facility for Endeavour mining with combined gold operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
  • We advised an Asian manganese producer and trader on its possible investment in a manganese mine.

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • We advised the Mandate Lead Arrangers in connection with a facility to First Quantum Minerals relating to the refinancing and development of copper and gold mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania and Zambia.
  • We advised a leading Chinese mining company on its proposed acquisition of copper assets in the DRC.
  • We advised Xiangguang Mining Holdings Limited on its mining project in the DRC.

Egypt

  • We advised a mining equipment manufacturer in an investor-state dispute against the Arab Republic of Egypt relating to a phosphate mine in Egypt. Egypt claimed that our client breached its contract and warranties by improperly designing and erecting the longwall and related equipment. As a result of pursuing arbitration at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (‘ICSID’), we were able to obtain a settlement on terms favorable to our client.

Eritrea

  • We advised Nevsun Resources on the first project financing in Eritrea for the development of a gold/copper/zinc/silver deposit.

Gambia

  • Advising on a number of arbitration matters connected with the mining industry.

Gabon

  • We advised on the negotiation of a JV agreement with a state-owned company in Gabon in connection with a gold mine.
  • We advised the finance parties on the US$350 million restructured facility for Endeavour mining with combined gold operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Ghana

  • We advised the arrangers of a debt financing for development of the Wassa, Tackwa and Bibinni gold mines.
  • We advised arrangers of debt financing for development of the Bibiani gold mine.
  • We advised arrangers of debt financing for development of the Tarkwa gold mine.
  • We advised the finance parties on the US$350 million restructured facility for Endeavour mining with combined gold operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Guinea

  • We advised the lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a bauxite mine.
  • We advised on a trust agreement and documents for a mining project.

Kenya

  • We advised the lenders in connection with the financing to Kwale Mineral Sands Project.
  • We advised Tiomin Resources in connection with its US$201 million mineral sands project for extraction of titanium and zircon.

Liberia

  • We represented Nedbank Capital and Rand Merchant Bank as arrangers in relation to a project debt facility to be made available to Bea Mountain Mining Corporation in relation to the New Liberty gold project in Liberia.

Malawi

  • We advised the lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a uranium mine.

Mali

  • We advised the arrangers of a financing for the development of the Loulo gold mine.
  • We advised the arrangers of a debt financing for the development of the Morila gold mine.
  • We advised the finance parties on the US$350 million restructured facility for Endeavour mining with combined gold operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Mauritania

  • We advised to Sphere Minerals in connection with the implementation of the group’s mining activities in Mauritania, including the development of the Askaf, Lebthenia, Aoueoua and El Aouj projects (exploration and exploitation licences).
  • We advised mandated lead arrangers in connection with a facility to First Quantum Minerals Ltd relating to the refinancing and development of the Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine in Mauritania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in 2006 and 2014.
  • We advised on a joint venture with SNIM to develop an iron ore mine in Mauritania including negotiating infrastructure contracts for rail, port and power facilities.
  • We advised Xstrata on its $323 million takeover of Sphere Minerals.
  • We advised on a joint venture connected with a major iron ore project in the Guelb region of Mauritania.

Mozambique

  • Tauil & Chequer in Association with Mayer Brown advised a major mining company: in the drafting and negotiation of a Coal Supply Agreement in Maputo, Mozambique; and in the negotiation of a Concession Agreement with the Government of Mozambique.

Namibia

  • We advised Namibia Copper Mines inc., in connection with the development and financing of the Haib copper mine.
  • We advised the lenders on the financing of mining equipment.
  • We advised the finance parties on the US$150 million revolving credit facility for the Dundee Group operating in Namibia, Armenia and Bulgaria.

Republic of Congo 

  • We advised a chemical offtaker on the first project financing and offtake agreement in the Republic of Congo for the Kouilou Potash Project.

South Africa

  • We advised one of the largest steel producers in the world on a major arbitration in relation to mineral rights.
  • We advised a bank group in the debt acquisition financing for a mining company.

Tanzania

  • We advised African Eagle Resources on construction and engineering contracts in relation to the Dutwa project.

Zambia

  • We advised the lenders on a debt facility to the expansion of the Kansanshi Copper project.
  • We advised the lenders on a senior debt facility for the development, construction costs and working capital for the Munali nickel mine.
  • We advised the lender in debt financing for development of the Dunrobin mine.
  • We advised the Mandated Lead Arrangers in connection with a facility to First Quantum relating to the refinancing and development of copper and gold mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Mauritania in 2006 and 2014.

Zimbabwe

  • We advised the lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a platinum mine.

Accolades

We have been working on a number of mining deals that have been awarded "Deal of the Year" status by project finance publications, including:

  • SASA Mine (Republic of Macedonia) - Trade & Forfaiting Review deal of the year winner for Lynx Resources USD 75m debt raise
  • Yaramoko Gold (Burkina Faso) – "Africa – Mining and Metals Deal of the Year 2015" IJGlobal Europe & Africa Awards
  • Cerro Verde (Peru) - Best Mining Financing; Best Loan 2014 LatinFinance
  • Endeavour Mining – African Mining Deal of the Year 2013 Project Finance Magazine
  • Wolf Minerals (Devon, southwest England) – European Mining & Metals Deal of the Year 2013 Project Finance Magazine
  • New Liberty gold project (Liberia) – Development Funding Deal of the year 2013 Mining Journal
  • Boseto (Botswana) - African Mining Deal of the Year 2011 Project Finance Magazine
  • Kwale mineral sands project (Kenya) – Development Funding Deal of the Year 2011 & 2006 Mining Journal and Africa Mining Deal of the Year 2011 Project Finance International
  • Boleo mine (Mexico) – Latin America Mining Deal of the Year 2010 Project Finance International; Exploration and Development Funding Award Mining Journal
  • Bisha project (Eritrea) - Africa Mining Deal of the Year 2009 Project Finance Magazine
  • First Quantum Minerals (Zambia, Mauritania, DRC) – Deal of the Year 2007 Project Finance Magazine; Trade Finance Magazine
  • Talvivaara (Finland) – European Mining Deal of the Year 2007 Project Finance Magazine 2007
  • Tiomin (Kenya) – Development Funding Deal of the Year 2006 Mining Journal
  • Voshkod Chrome (Kazakhstan) – European Mining Deal of the Year 2006 Project Finance Magazine
  • Kupol Gold & Silver (Russia) – EMEA Mining Deal of the Year 2005 Project Finance Magazine, Project Finance International

Mayer Brown was recognized as a stand-out firm in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards 2011 for our instrumental role in the development of a legal framework for Afghanistan’s mining industry.

We were awarded Infrastructure/Energy Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2012 for the team's pioneering work in developing a legal framework to make mining possible in Afghanistan.

Our team was recognized for Commercial Awareness by Chambers UK 2012 – “It [the team] understood what was required and how contracts need to be managed, rather than just prepared. Its advice is sound and it is good on the detail too.”