Mining and Metals

The mining and metals industries continuously undergo innovative advances that present complex legal challenges. When seeking counsel, companies need a law firm with global capacity and lawyers knowledgeable about relevant technologies, skilled in all the relevant areas of law, and conversant with industry trends and developments.

Dechert combines these capabilities. We advise clients worldwide on mining and metals matters, with sector experience including alumina, aluminum, coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, nickel, palladium, platinum, silver, steel and uranium. We have extensive experience advising producers, financial institutions, contractors and other related parties on all aspects of mining operations. We also assist clients engaged in all aspects of post-extraction processing and manufacturing and also with commodities trading.

Project Advisory Services

From the commencement of a mining or metals project through completion, our lawyers are experienced advisors on virtually every aspect of an operation including exploration, development and production. We guide our clients from the initial stages of acquisition, title examination, permitting and exploration, feasibility analyses, site development, financing, management, operation and marketing through reclamation and post-mining use of properties.

Commodity Trading and Marketing

Factors including the deregulation of energy markets and economic stimulus packages have created opportunities for companies to diversify and expand their energy trading, marketing and distribution activities. We assist such companies with structuring, negotiating and documenting futures, options, swaps and other derivative transactions. Our lawyers also advised on the establishment of the world’s first physically backed platinum, palladium and precious metals basket-based exchange-traded commodities (ETCs).

Litigation and Arbitration

Our trial team has the experience and flexibility to handle every aspect of today’s most complex, sensitive and high-stakes cases in practically every area of law, including in relation to:

  • Responses to citizen suits and government enforcement actions
  • Class action lawsuits
  • Internal investigations
  • Operating agreements and allocation of financial responsibility
  • Construction disputes
  • Payment, supply and royalty disputes
  • Investment disputes
  • Environmental litigation
  • Mine incidents

Corporate

We apply our worldwide experience advising mining and metals companies when evaluating potential obstacles to transactions in order to arrive at the best possible solution for our clients.

Our top-ranked corporate practice advises on mergers, tender and exchange offers, leveraged buyouts, going-public and going-private transactions, strategic alliances, collaborations and joint ventures, acquisitions, divestitures, proxy contests, special committee assignments and other corporate governance issues involving parties in the mining and metals industries.

Finance

Obtaining funding from the right source can be challenging. Whether by structuring private equity or venture capital investments, syndicated bank loans, capital markets transactions or other creative financial solutions, Dechert can help. We are fully conversant with financing projects on a limited-recourse project finance basis or using asset-backed structures or off-balance sheet methods.

Private Fund Formation and Investments

Private fund sponsors targeting the mining and metals industries can rely on our internationally recognized lawyers to advise at every phase of the investment life cycle. We form funds to accommodate investment objectives and achieve the most tax-efficient outcome, structure investments that maximize portfolio value, execute transactions that enhance investment portfolios and assist our clients in accomplishing exits at the right time and with the right return.

Tax

Understanding the tax incentives and strategies available to the mining and metals industries is key to capitalizing on investments and minimizing overall tax liability. Our tax lawyers advise on issues such as property and sales tax incentives, tax relief and liabilities resulting from emission credits, tax subsidies and the current cost of tax equity.

Intellectual Property

Dechert’s top-ranked intellectual property lawyers possess a deep understanding of the technologies underlying innovations in the mining and metals industries. Many of our intellectual property lawyers have advanced degrees in related sciences or industry experience, which we apply to help clients meet their business objectives. We maximize and protect their intellectual property assets through patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection, licensing programs, IP due diligence in the course of transactions and contentious proceedings as needed.

Bankruptcy, Business Restructuring and Reorganization

Dechert’s mining and metals lawyers have represented producers (including Chapter 11 debtors), lessors in complex leasehold relinquishment transactions, joint venture investors/operators in transnational mineral joint ventures, mine owners in the analysis of contingent liabilities triggered by the business failures of lessees and contractors and purchasers of mines and related assets in bankruptcy proceedings. We also assist clients with working out troubled loans for mining and metals projects.