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The mining sector continues to face a number of challenges as a result of reduced global demand, sustained low commodity prices and high operating costs. As investors and banks have moved away from the sector and access to capital has dried up, mining companies are seeking alternative means of funding new projects and of operating, refinancing and restructuring their existing assets. At the same time, the sector has witnessed an increased volume and unpredictability of changes to fiscal and government policy, particularly in terms of the social and environmental impacts of mining projects.
With these challenges come new and exciting opportunities for those who have adapted to the current environment. Drawing on a wealth of international experience, the Fieldfisher mining team provides an expert, comprehensive and integrated service to clients across the full life cycle of a mining project. The team is ranked in both Chambers and Legal 500, with three of our partners also recommended in Who's Who Legal Mining 2016. With experts in commercial, M&A, financing, restructuring, construction, tax and dispute resolution matters, our comprehensive understanding and practical experience of the sector enables us to assist clients in a wide variety of complex transactions.
The breadth of our advice includes:
- licensing, permitting, concession arrangements and mine development agreements
- earn-in/earn-out agreements, asset options and joint ventures
- acquisitions, disposals, mergers and takeovers
- tax and structuring
- equity financing including private equity investment and IPOs
- debt, project and structured financing and hedging and other derivative transactions
- alternative financing including pre-pay, forward purchase, streaming and royalty agreements
- supplier, contractor, construction and engineering agreements;
- sales, offtake and smelter agreements
- dispute resolution including International arbitration and treaty disputes.
We work with a range of international clients, most notably in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the CIS. Our Paris office has a particular specialisation in the OHADA laws of West and Central Africa, while our CIS group comprises dual qualified UK and CIS lawyers fluent in English, Russian and other regional languages. Our client base includes explorers, developers and producers, as well as investors, banks, investment banks and brokers.
What our clients say about us:
"No matter the time of day or night their responsiveness is almost unprecedented."
"They are efficient, detailed and good value. They also have a good cross-section of expertise through the partners and associates we deal with."
Energy & Natural Resources: Mining: International
Notable deals / highlights
- Advised Amur Minerals Corporation on an investment by Crede Capital Group of up to £12.5 million by way of equity and attached warrants.
- Advised Fusion Capital on its acquisition by way of a management buy-in of the SASA Lead-zinc mine in Macedonia in partnership with Orion Mine Finance which provided US$173.9 million of equity, loan, streaming and offtake finance.
- Advised Bushveld Minerals on two issues of unsecured loan notes raising a total of £5.2 million.
- Advised EMED Mining on a throughout, storage and services agreement with Impala Terminals for the warehousing of copper concentrate for export from the historic Rio Tinto copper mine.
- Advised EMED Mining on offtake agreements with three of its major shareholders for 100% of the production of the historic Rio Tinto copper mine.
- Advised EMED Mining in connection with a subscription, placing and open offer to raise £64.9 million.
- Advised KEFI Minerals on the negotiation with the Government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia of a mining agreement and the grant of a large scale mining licence for the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia.
- Advised North River Resources on its joint venture with Baobab Resources plc relating to the Monte Muande phosphate and magnetite project in Mozambique.
- Advising KEFI Minerals on its joint venture with Nyota Minerals.
Advised KEFI Minerals on its acquisition of a 75% interest in ASX and AIM-quoted Nyota Minerals' Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia for £4.5 million and a placing £4.5 million.
Advised Kemin Resources on the £40 million acquisition of 90% of the participatory interests in JV Kazakh-Russian Mining Company and admission of the ordinary share capital of the enlarged group to trading on AIM. JV Kazakh-Russian Mining Company holds two sub-soil use contracts for the exploration and production of molybdenum, wolfram and copper in the Kostani region of Kazakhstan.
Advised EMED Mining over the course of 2013 on a number of matters as it prepared to restart production at the original Rio Tinto Copper Mine near Seville in Spain, including a convertible loan note issue to cornerstone investors and customers, Yanggu Xiangguang Copper Co. Ltd and RK Mine Finance (now Orion Mine Finance) and an amendment of the existing offtake arrangements with those investors, to raise US$15 million.
Advised AIM quoted Central Asia Metals on a strategic investment in Copper Bay to develop a copper tailings project in Chile.
Advised the Deed Administrator of Platinum Australia Limited on the UK aspects of the merger between Platinum Australia Limited and Jubilee Platinum plc by way of scheme of arrangement to create a large Anglo-Australian-South African platinum mining group with the potential to be a significant producer within the top 5 platinum producers in the world.
Advised AIM quoted Amur Mineral Corporation on a subscription and equity swap arrangement to fund the company's Kun-Manie nickel and copper project in the far east of Russia.
Advised Avocet Mining, the gold mining and exploration business, on its listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of £450m and the associated disposal of its South East Asian assets for $200m.