View a map of our mining projects and financing activity
Recognitions / Rankings
- Best Lawyers in Canada 2016-18 recognizes our lawyers for Mining Law
- Chambers Global 2017 recognizes Lawson Lundell for Energy & Natural Resources: Mining (Canada)
- Chambers Canada 2017 recognizes Lawson Lundell in the Energy & Natural Resources: Mining (Canada) category
- Legal 500 Canada 2017 recommends Lawson Lundell and our lawyers in Energy (mining)
- Legal 500 Canada 2017 recognizes our lawyers in elite "Leading Lawyers" in Energy (mining)
- Chambers Canada 2016 recognizes Lawson Lundell in the Energy & Natural Resources: Mining (Canada) category
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016 recognizes Lawson Lundell as a leading firm in Mining Law
- Who's Who Legal 2016 recommends Lawson Lundell for Mining Law.
- Legal 500 Canada 2015 recognizes Lawson Lundell as a leading firm in Energy (mining)
- Chambers Global 2015 recognizes Lawson Lundell for Energy & Natural Resources: Mining (Canada) and Projects: Mining: Leading Canadian Firms (Latin America-wide)
- Lexpert / American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2015 recognizes our lawyers for Mining Law
Global Mining Practice
The mining industry operates in a marketplace that stretches beyond national boundaries. Our clients range from junior companies carrying on early stage exploration to international companies with investments and projects spread across the globe. Mining investments and related cross-border issues require creative structuring and documentation. Our clients’ projects are complex and call for a team with a broad range of skills to provide legal support as projects develop.
Leading the Way - from financing and exploration to development, operations and closure
Lawson Lundell has a long established Canadian and international mining practice that spans the range of legal services required by mining companies around the world and in Canada.
We have an experienced project development team that is actively involved from early stage exploration and tenure acquisition through development, permitting, operations and closure of projects. We have an experienced mining finance team focused on raising capital and mergers and acquisitions activity. We are experienced in every kind of mining transaction. We help our clients with:
- Consultation and Agreements with Aboriginal People
- Environmental Assessment and Permitting
- Construction and Procurement
- Care and Maintenance / Closure and Reclamation
- Mineral Title Acquisition
- Option Agreements
- Strategic Alliance Agreements
- Joint Venture Agreements
- Shareholder Agreements
- Offshore Structuring
Financing and Merger and Acquisitions
- Corporate Finance and Securities
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Streaming, Offtake and Product Sales Agreements
- Strategic Investments
Lawson Lundell and our lawyers are consistently recognized as leaders in the field of mining law. Our recognitions and rankings in major publications are as follows:
- Chambers & Partners Global recognizes Lawson Lundell’s “robust and vibrant mining practice.” It further states that “in addition to corporate and M&A , the mining group is known for its pure dirt law mining work such as permits, aboriginal title issues and land assemblies. The team is also a leader in project development work and is applauded for its accomplishments in mining exploration”.
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory recognizes Lawson Lundell as a leading firm in mining law.
On the project development side, the firm has a distinctive northern focus and in 2011 was involved in the development or operation of ten mines in the Canadian North including gold, silver, diamond, zinc, copper and iron ore mines. We also provide legal support to several coal mines, two gold mines and a zinc mine in British Columbia and a developing chromite mine in Ontario. We have advised our clients in connection with mine development and related proceedings for the following projects:
- Baffinland Iron Mines Limited, a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal S.A., in connection with its Mary River iron ore mine in Nunavut;
- Cliffs Chromite Ontario, Inc., a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. in connection with its “Ring of Fire” chromite project in Ontario;
- Afghan Minerals Group in connection with the Shaida copper project;
- Capstone Mining Corp. in connection with the Minto Mine in the Yukon;
- Devonian Metals Inc. in connection with the Wrigley project in the Northwest Territories;
- Elgin Mining Inc. in connection with its Ulu and Lupin projects in Nunavut;
- Newmont Mining Corporation’s subsidiary Hope Bay Mining Ltd., in connection with the Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut, including permitting, care and maintenance;
- New Gold Inc. in connection with development of the New Afton and Blackwater gold mines in British Columbia;
- cross-border note offering by New Gold Inc. for over C$200 million;
- Rio Tinto’s 60% owned subsidiary, Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., in connection with development of the Diavik Diamond mine and the Tibbett to Contwoyto winter ice road in the Northwest Territories;
- Sabina Silver Corp. in connection with the Hackett River silver-zinc project and Black River gold project in Nunavut;
- Shear Diamonds Corp. in connection with the Jericho diamond mine in Nunavut;
- Tamerlane Ventures Inc. in connection with its Pine Point lead-zinc project in Northwest Territories;
- Tyhee Gold Corp. in connection with the development of the Yellowknife gold project in the Northwest Territories;
- Walter Canadian Coal Partnership, a subsidiary of Walter Energy, Inc., in connection with the Perry Creek, Brule and Willow Creek coal mines in British Columbia; and
- Western Copper Corporation in connection with the Carmacks and Casino copper mines in the Yukon.
In developing a mining project, our clients call on our expertise in the following areas:
Consultation and Agreements with Aboriginal People
We provide advice and assistance to mining clients in identifying potential “triggers” for aboriginal consultation, preparing aboriginal consultation strategies, negotiating consultation agreements, liaising with the federal and provincial Crown in order to support the Crown in the discharge of its consultation obligations, complying with the consultation processes required by regulators and the courts in connection with land and resource use and the negotiation and settlement of aboriginal impact benefits agreements and other matters which may affect the interests and Constitutional rights of aboriginal groups.
We also have extensive experience in the resolution of disputes, particularly in the context of consultation requirements, and representing mining companies in the defense of challenges brought by aboriginal groups before regulatory tribunals and courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
We advise oil sands mine developers on memoranda of understanding, consultation protocols, long term benefits agreements and related matters as well as on strategy for governmental relations initiatives related to aboriginal consultation matters.
We have also advised many other developers in the oil and gas, forestry, transportation and other sectors as well as mining on aboriginal consultation matters as they affect regulatory proceedings and risk management for project development. Our experience at addressing aboriginal issues in project developments in Canada is unparalleled.
Environmental Assessment and Permitting
We understand that obtaining project approvals on budget and on schedule is key to project success. We also understand that promises, commitments and conditions relating to an approved mining project must be clearly defined, technically achievable and practical from an operational perspective, while also fulfilling socioeconomic and environmental stewardship responsibilities. We prioritize these objectives in representing our clients at all phases of the project development cycle.
Our environmental lawyers work closely with our clients’ project development teams (including, where appropriate, external environmental consultants and project engineers) to provide practical advice with respect to all aspects of project development, including:
- development and execution of strategic project approval and permitting plans;
- navigation of territorial, provincial and federal environmental assessment processes (including advising on potential environmental assessment “triggers”, consulting on preparation and evaluation of mining project environmental impact assessments and providing written and oral representation before governmental authorities and tribunals);
- identification of all required regulatory and licensing requirements;
- consultation with regulatory bodies, government agencies, First Nations and the public;
- evaluation of the potential impact of provincial, territorial and federal environmental legislation including the Species at Risk Act;
- planning relating to care and maintenance, as well as closure and reclamation; and
- ongoing assessment of risk of legal project challenges (including appeals, judicial review applications and injunctions) by non-governmental organizations and other groups, and providing advice which mitigates this risk.
In addition to advising on projects listed above, we have assisted:
- Fortune Minerals Limited in connection with the environmental assessment of its NICO Mining Project by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board;
- Red Chris Development Company Ltd. (now owned by Imperial Metals) in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Canada that upheld the permits for development of the Red Chris Mine (this was the first and still is the only case in which the Supreme Court of Canada considered the interpretation and application of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act); and
- Teck Coal Limited in connection with matters relating to the environmental assessment of current projects at its five coal mining operations in southeast British Columbia, and the re-start of a coal mining operation in northeast British Columbia.
Construction and Procurement
We provide advice and assistance to clients on all aspects of construction and procurement matters from initial exploration activities to mine construction and ongoing mining operations. Our experience includes advising with respect to:
- preparation of various procurement documents such as RFQs and RFPs specifically tailored to meet the requirements of both applicable laws and the provisions of relevant aboriginal consultation agreements and benefits agreements;
- preliminary development work such as drilling contracts, services contracts and road and camp construction;
- permanent infrastructure construction for fuel tank farms, airstrips, etc.;
- complex sea lift and fuel supply arrangements for remote projects including northern projects with critical timing logistics to meet ice-free shipping windows;
- EPC and EPCM contracts; and
- preparation of project specific, standard form "suites" of documents for use by procurement managers in all of their purchasing activities from construction through ongoing mining operations.
Care and Maintenance/ Closure and Reclamation
We advise clients on legal obligations and practical considerations relating to the care and maintenance and closure phases. This includes specialized advice relating to financial assurances and reclamation bonding and managing liability for historic exploration and mining activities.
We act for a wide range of companies in respect of option and joint venture agreements, mineral title acquisition, shareholder agreements and offshore structuring on projects in all parts of the world. Examples of transactions and agreements on which we have advised our clients include advising:
- Chihong Canada Mining Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Chihong Zinc & Germanium Co. Ltd., a Chinese company, in a joint venture transaction involving a zinc mine in the Yukon with Selwyn Resources Ltd.;
- Rio Tinto plc in an earn-in and shareholders agreement with Sherritt International Corporation whereby Sherritt will acquire an interest in the Sulawesi Nickel Project located in Sulawesi, Indonesia;
- B2Gold Corp. in negotiating exploration, option and joint venture arrangements in Colombia, Russia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Finland, Namibia, Mali, Chile and Nevada.
- Lithium Li Holdings Inc. in connection with its Balkans lithium and borates joint venture with Pan Global Resources Inc.;
- Doe Run Canadian Exploration ULC in respect to its exploration activities in the Maritime provinces;
- Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited in connection with the Rattlesnake Hills joint venture in the state of Wyoming; and
- Sarama Resources Ltd. in negotiating option and joint venture agreements in Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali.
COMMERCIAL MINING AGREEMENTS
As part of the services we offer in support of mine development and operations, we advise our mining clients on a wide variety of commercial mining agreements including: farm-in option, royalty, streaming and offtake, product sales, transportation and other mining-related agreements. Our experience includes:
Streaming and Offtake
- sale of the San Dimas mine in Mexico by Goldcorp Ltd. and silver purchase (streaming) agreements;
- negotiation of offtake arrangements for 30% of the El Boleo mine’s production of copper and cobalt on behalf of a Korean consortium led by Korea Resources Corporation;
- negotiated terms for proposed copper offtake agreements for the Red Chris Mine prior to its acquisition by Imperial Metals; and
- negotiating terms for copper offtake by Trafigura Beheer B.V. from Anvil Mining’s Kinsevere copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Product Sales and Transportation
- ore sales agreements for Prime Resources/Homestake Canada for gold and silver ore from the Eskay Creek Mine; and
- lead and zinc concentrate frame purchase agreements for Goldcorp’s Mexican subsidiary, Minera Penasquito S.A. de C.V.
- acquisition by Franco-Nevada of oil & gas and mineral royalties from Newmont Capital Corporation.
FINANCINGS AND MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
We have been involved in financings and mergers and acquisitions transactions of all kinds and sizes involving billions of dollars in aggregate for our mining clients. Our client base includes several of the world’s largest mining companies as well as a large number of development and early production stage companies with projects all over the world, a common factor for which is listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the TSX Venture Exchange. Our services in these transactions often include specialized due diligence reporting and advice on aboriginal title, environmental and mineral tenure matters.
Corporate Finance and Securities
Financing transactions in which we have advised our clients include:
- initial public offering and listing by B2Gold Corp., raising gross proceeds of C$100 million;
- bought deal equity financings by B2Gold Corp. for proceeds of approximately C$29 million and C$32 million;
- initial public offering by Sarama Resources Ltd., raising gross proceeds of C$16.7 million;
- US$250 million convertible note offering by Silver Standard Resources Inc.;
- private placement of senior unsecured notes by Silver Standard Resources Inc., in an aggregate principal amount of US$138 million;
- MJDS equity offerings by Silver Standard Resources Inc., raising an aggregate of approximately $300 million;
- public offering of C$125 million convertible unsecured subordinated debentures by Western Canadian Coal Corp;
- private placement by NexGen Energy Ltd. with Tigris Uranium Corp.;
- non-brokered private placement by CB Gold Inc.; and
- bought deal offering of common shares by CG Bold Inc., proceeds to be used for the continued exploration of the Vetas gold project in Colombia.
Mergers & Acquisitions
We have structured hundreds of transactions involving diamonds, coal, bitumen, lithium, potash, iron ore, platinum/palladium, uranium, copper, silver, gold and nickel and industrial minerals throughout the world. Our team has worked on five continents and throughout Canada. Some examples of M&A transactions in which we have advised our clients include:
- advising B2Gold Corp. on its C$1.1 billion deal to acquire Australia’s CGA Mining Ltd., owner of the Masbate gold mine in the Philippines;
- acquisition of Fronteer Gold Inc. including its Long-Canyon, Northumberland, and Sandman projects in Nevada by Newmont Mining Corporation for C$2.3 billion;
- sale of the Hope Bay gold mine by Hope Bay Mining Ltd., a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corp. in Nunavut;
- acquisition of mining properties in Spain and Portugal by Vintage Mining Corp.;
- acquisition of two Mexican gold projects by Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited;
- sale of a molybdenum mine site in British Columbia by Alcoa to Avanti Mining;
- advising Anvil Mining Limited on its C$1.3 billion friendly acquisition by Minmetals Resources Limited;
- take-over of Ashton Mining of Canada and its interest in the Foxtrot property in northern Quebec by Stornoway Diamonds;
- merger of Atna Resources and Canyon Resources;
- sale of mineral royalties by Barrick Gold Corporation to Royal Gold Inc.;
- advising B2Gold Corp. on its formation in connection with the $3 billion acquisition of Bema Gold Corporation by Kinross Gold Corporation;
- acquisition by B2Gold Corp. of mineral interests in Colombia from AngloGold Ashanti;
- acquisition by B2Gold Corp. of Central Sun Mining, owner of the Libertad and Limon mines in Nicaragua;
- acquisition by B2Gold Corp. of the Trebol and El Pavon gold exploration properties in Nicaragua from Radius Gold Inc.;
- acquisition of Auryx Gold Corp., owner of the Otjikoto gold project in Namibia by B2Gold Corp.;
- defence of two competing unsolicited take-over bids for bcMetals Corporation;
- acquisition by Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. of an interest in the Decar project from First Point Minerals Ltd.;
- defence of an unsolicited take-over bid under French Law made by IAMGOLD Corporation for Euro Ressources S.A.;
- merger of Kensington Resources Inc. and Shore Gold Inc.;
- acquisition of Lero Gold Corporation by European Minerals Corporation;
- advising MAG Silver Corp. in respect of its Juanicipio silver project in Mexico;
- advising Tigers Realm Minerals PTY Ltd. in connection with the option to acquire an interest in a uranium property in Saskatchewan;
- advising Tigers Realm Minerals PTY Ltd. in a multiparty transaction relating to gold properties in Jamaica;
- advising Minera Andes Inc. on its friendly C$1.49 billion merger with US Gold Corporation;
- acquisition of Miramar Mining Corporation by Newmont Mining Corporation;
- advising Talisman Energy Inc. with respect to the disposition to Xstrata Coal of the Sukunka hard coking coal deposit for US$500 million;
- sale of Moto Goldmines Limited for $655 million following contested take-over bids by Randgold Resources Limited and Red Back Mining Inc.;
- sale of an interest in a gold mine in Chile by New Gold Ltd.;
- sale by Rio Tinto plc of its Saskatchewan potash assets to Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, for a cash consideration of US$850 million;
- sale of the Corani silver mine in Peru by Rio Tinto to Bear Creek Mining Corp.;
- sale of royalty portfolios by Rio Tinto to Royal Gold and International Royalty Corp.;
- acting for Silver Standard Resources Inc., in spin-off of Pretium Resources Inc. and subsequent secondary offering of shares of Pretium;
- advising Silver Standard Resources Inc. on the sale of the Snowfield and Brucejack advanced stage gold exploration properties in northern British Columbia to Pretium Resources Inc.;
- acquisition of Esperanza Resources Corp.’s interest in the San Luis project in Peru by Silver Standard Resources Inc.;
- purchase by NexGen Energy Ltd. of Mega Uranium Ltd.’s uranium projects located in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan and the Thelon Basin, Nunavut;
- purchase by Troy Resources Limited of the Casposo Gold-Silver Project in Argentina from Intrepid Mines Limited; and
- acquisition of Western Coal Corp. by Walter Energy Inc. for aggregate consideration valued at approximately C$3.3 billion.
Our experience includes acting for offshore buyers in connection with strategic investments in mineral projects such as:
- strategic investment in the Boleo copper-cobalt project in Mexico with off-take agreements by a consortium of Korean companies;and
- advising Chihong Canada Mining Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Chihong Zinc & Germanium Co. Ltd., a Chinese company, in a $100 million joint venture transaction involving a zinc mine in the Yukon with Selwyn Resources Ltd.
Stock Exchange Listings
We have represented numerous international mining companies (many with head offices outside Canada) in respect of their listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) or the TSX Venture Exchange and all related on-going compliance and disclosure matters. Their projects are located throughout the globe, with many in Latin America and Africa
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