MINING

Mining entails many risks, but even greater opportunities. Our job is to anticipate risks and, through creative solutions, enable our clients to seize opportunities and expand their businesses.

We know the mining industry from the inside. Working side by side with geologists, engineers, internal legal teams and senior executives of mining companies, we have been part of decision-making   investment decisions, risk analysis and strategy design. When the negotiations with a counterparty start, we have already been involved in the matter for a long time.  And once the contracts are executed, we advise on their administration until their completion.  We know the way mining companies operate, what they care about and what they don’t, and we speak the same language as their executives.

Our lawyers have experience strategically advising junior and major mining companies in the different phases of the mining cycle, from initial exploration to the establishment of large-scale operations, including some of Chile’s most emblematic mining transactions.

Our mining practice area covers the structuring and negotiation of all kinds of contracts necessary for both the acquisition and subsequent development of mining projects, including earn ins, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, as well as the regulatory and community aspects of mining projects.

MINING EXPLORATION

Time is of the essence in the exploration phase, and therefore we are clear and precise in raising the risks involved, while providing concrete measures to mitigate them, and creative strategies that allow our clients to achieve their objectives.

Our experience as internal and external advisors of both mining exploration companies and exploration areas of major companies, gives us knowledge not only of the legal aspects, but also of the operational and commercial aspects of this activity. We speak the language of geologists and share with them a passion for exploring the mysteries below our feet. We work as a team with in-house lawyers and executives on the commercial strategy and structuring of agreements and alliances, and we partner with companies throughout the exploration cycle, both in the transactional and projects matters.

We have drafted and negotiated hundreds of agreements with suppliers and with important Chilean and foreign research centers and universities. We also have experience supporting Competent Persons in the preparation of reports under the National Instrument (NI) 43-101 and the JORC code, as well as in all kinds of reports that are required by the authorities, shareholders, and potential investors.

REGULATORY MATTERS

We seek to give certainty to our clients about the scope and impact that the different regulations will have on their business. We have advised foreign companies in the identification and analysis of the regulatory framework in Chile and other  countries in Latin America, either supporting them when making the decision  to invest, or when they are starting their activities.  Likewise, we have advised companies that are already operating, analyzing together their compliance with the applicable regulation.

We have experience advising on mineral and surface land rights, as well as in regulatory and water matters.  Our lawyers have prepared several agreements to allow the access to the land on which the minerals are located, and have obtained, on behalf of clients, mining easements in the Courts of Justice.

We also advise on the relationship with the surrounding and indigenous communities, and on the implementation of ESG best practices.

MINING TRANSACTIONS

Both for companies looking to take advantage of new opportunities and for those looking to expand their activities, it is essential to achieve, within a short timeframe, alliances and agreements in which their interests are protected and the risks inherent to the activity are mitigated. Our mining practice area has the experience and knowledge to ensure that these goals are met.

Our lawyers have negotiated and structured dozens of sophisticated mining transactions, including acquisitions, strategic alliances, joint ventures, earn ins and mining options, as well as various types of financing and royalty and streaming agreements.

Our knowledge of the mining industry, as well as our experience working as a team with the legal, commercial, and other areas of mining companies in the structuring of transactions, supporting them both in commercial and legal aspects, allows us to give specialized advice in the different stages of mining transactions, from planning to signing, to ongoing advice for the management of the contracts.

INTERNATIONAL AND CROSS-BORDER PRACTICE

Our experience advising mining companies extends to five continents, with emphasis on supporting companies that want to invest or develop activities in Latin America, working together with local lawyers in the country in which they invest or develop activities.

The advantage of hiring us and not just local lawyers in each country? In addition to having important experience advising on entry to new countries and on the structuring of cross-border transactions, our lawyers have experience leading legal teams in charge of several countries, so we know how to distinguish what matters and what does not matter to mining companies, as well as which are the risks that concern the juniors and the majors, and how to mitigate them. We have studied and worked both in countries that use continental law and in those that use common law, which allows us to explain to our international clients, in a simple way, the particularities of the Latin American legal systems.

We have a special expertise advising on the evaluation of investments, entry, and alliances in countries considered risky, for which we analyze different legal structures and mechanisms to mitigate risks, including the application of laws and dispute mechanisms of countries with a mature mining legal system, the application of international treaties, and vehicles for the protection of investments, among other available tools

CONTRACTS AND SUPPLY

In URZÚA ABOGADOS we have extensive experience advising owners, contractors, and suppliers, in their contractual and supply strategy, in the preparation and negotiation of the contracts needed for their operations, and in the different aspects of supply chain management. We frequently negotiate contracts worth several hundred million dollars, and even contracts worth more than one billion dollars.

Our experience in different industries, working side by side with the commercial teams and internal lawyers of the companies, allows us to understand the commercial aspects of strategies and contracts.  We always seek the protection of the commercial and reputational interests of our clients, helping them to achieve an adequate allocation of risks, working with a collaborative and innovative approach, avoiding entering into unnecessary discussions with the counterparty that may jeopardize commercial relations.  

We also understand the value of sustainability in business relationships, and we have been part of the strategy and execution of local purchasing programs, and other initiatives that seek the implementation of ESG best practices.

Over the past few years, we have continuously advised companies on their strategies to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on their projects and operations, as well as in disruptions and delays in supply chains.  Likewise, we have created comprehensive strategies to mitigate the impacts of unforeseeable circumstances, such as force majeure or acts of God, thus providing greater certainty to the contractual relationships of our clients. 

We support the preparation of requests for proposals (RFPs), bidding documents, and a wide variety of contracts, including contracts for the supply, purchase of goods and provision of all types of services, from catering and accommodation to rail transport and port services.

In addition to our advice in the design of strategies and in the preparation and negotiation of contracts, we complement our practice with Claims, Litigation and Arbitration, with a high specialization in disputes related to contracts, procurement, and supply chain matters.