Practice Areas & Industries: Mayer Brown LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

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.

“Mining is a niche area where Mayer Brown is especially singled out for praise.” - Chambers Global 2010

“Mayer Brown International LLP is a ‘project finance powerhouse’ on the mining side” - Legal 500 UK 2011

The services we offer our clients include:

  • Project Finance advising on project finance (both traditional bank debt and finance sourced in the capital markets), capital raising and production financing issues. We also advise on related issues such as advice on 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.
  • Corporate Finance advising mining companies 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, investments joint ventures as well as property exchanges, acquisitions and disposals of producing and undeveloped properties.
  • 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.

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:

  • 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 are 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.

Experience

Americas

Chile

  • We represented a company along with its subsidiary in the purchase of a 25% stake in a Chilean mining enterprise.
  • We represented 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 a joint venture in the purchase of an interest in Minera Escondida Limitada, the largest copper mine in the world.

Mexico

  • We represented the lenders, including the US Export-Import Bank, Export Development Canada, Korea Development Bank and a group of five commercial banks, on the $823 million financing of the Boleo copper-cobalt-manganese project in Mexico. This transaction was named Latin America Mining Deal of the Year 2010 by Project Finance Magazine and honored with the 2010 Exploration And Development Funding Award from Mining Journal.

Peru

  • We represented 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.

Cross-border

  • We represented the sponsor on a credit facility for Yamana Gold, a Canadian mining company with operations across Central and South America.

Asia

Afghanistan

  • We are advising the Government of Afghanistan on the development of a legislative and regulatory framework as well as on the implementation of a tender process for the country's mining industry. Afghanistan's mineral reserves, thought to contain a variety of metals including gold, copper, iron ore, lithium and rare earths, have been estimated to be worth as much as $3 trillion.

China

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

Indonesia

  • We represented a client on regulatory barriers to its investment in Batu Hijau copper/gold mining project.

Kazakhstan

  • We represented 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 the Kumtor gold mine.

Tajikistan

  • We represented 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 represented 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.

Australia

  • We advised on the proposed project financing of Forrestania nickel deposit operated by Outokumpu.

Europe

Finland

  • We represented the lenders on the financing and refinancing of a nickel mine in Sotkamo developed by Talvivaara.
  • We represented the borrower on the financing of the Laiva gold mine.
  • We represented the lenders on the financing of the Kevitsa mine.

Greenland

  • We advised clients in connection with the potential financing of the Nalunaq gold project.

Ireland

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

Portugal

  • We represented 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 original bridge loan financing for the development of the mine.

Spain

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

Sweden

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

Turkey

  • We represented the mandated lead arranger, Bayerische Hypo – und Vereinsbank AG, part of the UniCredit group, on the $62.5 million financing for the construction and development of the Çöpler gold mine in the Erzincan province of Turkey.
  • We represented the sponsors on the financing of a nickel mine in Turkey.

UK

  • We represented 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 represented Insinger de Beaufort in relation to the admission to AIM of Pan Pacific aggregates plc.

Ukraine

  • We represented WestLB who acted as sole bookrunner in a $35 million financing for Ferrexpo AG to purchase equipment for their Poltava and Yeristovo iron ore mines.
  • We represented the project sponsors on the project financing for the development of a coal mine.

Africa

Burkina Faso

  • We represented a project sponsor on the project financing of the Inata gold mine, from mining license through to project documents and financing.

Botswana

  • We represented Discovery Metals as project sponsor in connection with the $180 million debt financing of its greenfield copper project.

Central African Republic

  • We represented a project sponsor in connection with the project financing and development of a gold mine.

Eritrea

  • We represented Nevsun Resources Ltd on its US$235 million project financing for the operation and construction of Bisha gold, silver, zinc and copper mine in Eritrea. This is the first mine to be project financed in the country.

Gambia

  • We represented the Government of Gambia on an ICSID arbitration.

Ghana

  • We advised the arrangers of a debt financing for development of the Wassa, Tackwa and Bibinni gold mines.

Kenya

  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers, WestLB, Caterpillar Financial, Standard Bank and Nedbank and several development funding banks, on a $170 million syndicated loan for Australian mining company Base Resources to finance its Kenyan titanium-mining project.

Mali

  • We represented the arrangers of a financing for the development of the Loulo gold mine.
  • We represented the arrangers of a debt financing for the development of the Morila gold mine.

Mauritania

  • We advised on a joint venture with SNIM to develop an iron ore mine in Mauritania.
  • We advised on Xstrata’s takeover of Sphere Minerals.

Namibia

  • We represented a project sponsor in connection with the development and financing of the Haib copper mine.

Republic of Congo

  • We represented a chemical off taker on the first project financing and off take agreement in the Republic of Congo for the Kouilou Potash Project.

Zambia

  • We represented the lenders on a senior debt facility for the development, construction costs and working capital for the Munali nickel mine.

Zambia, DRC and Mauritania

  • We represented the lenders in connection with a five year facility to First Quantum Minerals Ltd., relating to the refinancing and development of copper and gold mines in Zambia and Mauritania.