Following an uncertain 2020, the industry rebounded strongly in 2021, with mining companies ramping up progress on projects, investors moving ahead with financing and adversaries escalating disputes.
As in previous years, the firm was particularly active in capital markets transactions, private financing deals and commercial disputes involving mining companies, royalty businesses, refiners and commodity traders.
However, in 2021 the Mining and Metals Group received more advisory mandates for organisations involved in extensive, long-term projects and disputes, with the firm being asked to act on these matters on top of day-to-day instructions.
Recent legislative and political developments, such as the EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation, increasing resource nationalism in some jurisdictions and growing demand for raw materials needed for energy transition technologies also defined sector activity.
Fieldfisher added a further 15 clients to its mining and metals roster, meaning the firm is now advising more than 60 organisations on mining and metals-related instructions across its international offices.
Highlights for the year included the firm's participation at the G7 Summit in Cornwall in June, with Fieldfisher's
Head of Mining and Metals Jonathan Brooks examining the role of Southwest England in supplying minerals for a sustainable future.
The team also published guides to responsible supply chains and dealing with mining licence revocations, in response to emerging trends affecting Fieldfisher clients.
Notable instructions included:
Acting for the investors on three LCIA arbitrations relating to a dispute concerning a major coal mine;
Acting in an arbitration about a disputed right of first refusal over shares in a company with phosphate mining rights;
Renegotiating a €350 million financing by a multilateral developmental investment bank for the redevelopment of a major past-producing zinc mine in Kazakhstan;
Acting as IPO counsel on the €470 million reverse takeover by AIM-quoted SigmaRoc plc of Finnish limestone miner Nordkalk Oy AB and £260 million fundraising.
"We saw a definite return to form for the industry in 2021, as clients sought to capitalise on renewed optimism and make up for time lost during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"A noticeable shift from recent years was the willingness of sector players to commit to long-term matters, be it ambitious projects or complex disputes, as distinct from the short-term transactions and decisions that have characterised more uncertain periods.
"We are pleased to be supporting our clients in these endeavours and are expecting an extremely busy 2022."
For further details, download a copy of the mining and metals team's 2021 highlights.
Fieldfisher is a European law firm built around its people. We are a full-service firm with market-leading practices in energy and natural resources, technology, financial services and life sciences.
Our network of more than 1,700 expert people spans 25 offices in 11 countries, including our US and China locations, acting alongside our international partner firms, enabling us to advise clients around the world with seamless efficiency and dedication across time zones and disciplines.
A Times Top 20 Law Firm, we are highly commended by the European Financial Times Innovative Lawyers rankings and repeatedly nominated for awards in areas including dispute resolution, public and regulatory, M&A and IP.
Our lawyers are consistently recognised by legal directories as leading professionals in their areas of specialism and we are ranked tier 1 or 2 in a number of our key practice areas.
For more information about our firm, please see: About | Fieldfisher.
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