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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 2018 and Legal 500 2017, with two of our partners also recommended in Who's Who Legal Mining 2018. With experts in commercial, M&A, finance, 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, metals traders, investment banks and brokers.
“Fieldfisher’s ‘highly professional team has a wealth of experience in the mining sector’ and attracts praise from clients for its ‘proactive, practical as well as innovative approach to complex transactions’”
- Legal 500 2017, Mining and Minerals
“They are fast and responsive with strong industry knowledge and experience”
- Chambers UK 2017, Energy & Natural Resources: Mining: International
- Advising in relation to a fundraising by Bluejay Mining to raise £17 million on AIM.
- Advising Atalaya Mining on a £31 million placing to fund the expansion of the Rio Tinto mine.
- Advising Terrafame Group on a US$200 million funding package comprising an equity investment of up to US$100 million by Galena Asset Management, a US$75 million loan facility from Trafigura Group and a US$25 million loan facility from Sampo.
- Advising Traxys Europe on a US$120 million prepayment facility to Central Asia Metals in respect of the Kounrad copper mine in Kazakhstan.
- Advising Fusion Capital on the sale, along with Orion Mine Finance, of Lynx Resources, owner of the SASA lead-zinc mine in Macedonia, to Central Asia Metals for US$405 million and the termination of its joint venture arrangements with Orion.
- Advising Columbus Gold on the negotiation of a shareholders’ agreement and the entry into of a joint venture with Nord Gold relating to the Montagne d'Or gold deposit in French Guiana.
- Advising Osisko Gold Royalties on the English legal aspects of its CAD$1.125 billion acquisition from Orion Mine Finance of a precious metals portfolio of assets consisting of 74 royalties, streams and precious metal offtakes.
- Advising the EBRD on a US$350 million syndicated loan to JSC ShalkiyaZinc for the expansion of the Shalkiya zinc and lead mine in Kazakhstan.
- Advising Kodal Minerals on a strategic investment of £4.3 million by Suay Chin International and proposed off-take arrangements relating to its Bougouni lithium project in Southern Mali.
- Advising KEFI Minerals on a shareholders’ agreement governing the US$20 million investment by the Government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia in the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia.
- 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.