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The mining sector has faced a number of challenges over the last few years 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 and increasing optimism in the sector come new and exciting opportunities. Drawing on a wealth of international experience, our mining team provides a comprehensive and integrated service across the full life cycle of a mining project. We are ranked in both Chambers UK 2017 and Legal 500 2016, with three of our partners also recommended in Who's Who Legal Mining 2017. With experts in commercial, M&A, financing, restructuring, construction, tax and dispute resolution matters, our knowledge and practical experience of the sector enables us to assist clients in a wide variety of complex transactions.
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.
“They are fast and responsive with strong industry knowledge and experience”
- Chambers UK 2017, Energy & Natural Resources: Mining: International
"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."
- Chambers UK 2016 Energy & Natural Resources: Mining: International
Notable deals / highlights
- Advised in relation to the reverse takeover of SigmaRoc, operator of Lafarge's quarrying business in the Channel Islands, fundraising to raise £50 million and re-admission to AIM.
- Advised in relation to a fundraising by FinnAust Mining to raise £8.5 million on AIM.
- Advised Avocet Mining on its joint venture and US$14 million earn-out with Moroccan mining conglomerate, Managem, in relation to its Tri-K gold project in Guinea including its class1 circular seeking shareholder approval of the transaction and the company's move to the standard segment of the Official List.
- Advised Atalaya Mining on a US$14 million copper concentrate prepayment facility with Transamine Trading to fund the expansion of the Rio Tinto copper mine.
- Advised Yanggu Xiangguang Copper Co. Ltd (“XGC”) on a number of joint venture and funding proposals of up to US$240 million in relation to Reservoir Minerals’ right of first offer to acquire Freeport-McMoRan’s interest in the Timok copper project in Serbia and the proxy battle relating to the subsequent takeover of Reservoir Minerals by Nevsun Resources.
- 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 in connection with a subscription, placing and open offer to raise £64.9 million, the capitalisation of debts of £33 million and the restart of production at the historic Rio Tinto Copper Mine near Seville in Spain.
- 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.
- Advised AIM quoted Central Asia Metals on a strategic investment in Copper Bay to develop a copper tailings project in Chile.
- Advised AIM quoted Amur Minerals 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, of 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.