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Infrastructure, mining and commodities

Our extensive experience in infrastructure, mining, and commodities covers every market, sector and region of the world and we have developed particular recognition for our work in the industry’s key emerging markets. This experience makes us well placed to help clients with an interest in Papua New Guinea.

Our team of lawyers enjoys superior global reach through our extensive network and is regularly at the forefront of some of the world’s largest transactions. Our practice covers a multitude of disciplines, including corporate, M&A and securities; project finance; structured trade and commodity finance; real estate; dispute resolution and litigation; international arbitration; corporate responsibility; native title; construction and engineering; employment and labour; and intellectual property. We have advised on some of the largest and most innovative transactions in recent years, working across a variety of sectors, including agribusiness, telecoms, healthcare, transport and water.

Our areas of work include

Mining

Gold, copper and nickel remain focal points for major projects and transactions in PNG, which have a strong relationship with infrastructure and transport. We note that although all minerals and petroleum belong to the State, legislation is being drafted which if approved by the National Executive Council will give landowners more rights over minerals found on their land.

As a result investors will find opportunities in exploration companies and joint ventures and in the creation of businesses to provide support to an ever growing number of large-scale mining projects. The PNG government has made the development of mining and petroleum projects a high priority.

Our Asia- Pacific mining lawyers advise on large and complex resources projects having advised on some of the largest and most innovative cross-border mining deals in recent years. In particular, we advise prospective investors in mining assets and associated infrastructure and the owners, contractors and financiers on the development and operations of those assets throughout the world. We are described by market commentators as ‘one of the top tier firms in mining’ and are the only PNG practice able to offer a truly seamless global service to mining companies.

Infrastructure

The PNG government has launched a number of multi-billion dollar projects to improve infrastructure and has increased budgetary spending to record levels to address decades of underfunding.

Investors will find opportunities in resource allocation for the development and maintenance of infrastructure, which is a constant challenge for the government. There are also opportunities in the provision of project management and construction services.

Our team has a long history of advising on many ground breaking projects in the Asia-Pacific region. Having acted for governments, financiers, sponsors and contractors we understand the financing and delivery contracts from all parties’ perspective, and the consequences if those projects fall into dispute. We work across all areas of social and economic infrastructure including transport (ports, airport, road and rail), water, defence, prisons, schools, hospitals and social housing.

Commodities and Agribusiness

PNG’s climate and high seasonal rainfall give it a significant advantage in agribusiness. It is a major exporter of palm oil, coffee and cocoa, which account for a majority of agricultural exports and a significant proportion of GDP. The majority of plantations produce cocoa, coffee, tea, palm oil and rubber.

Investors will find opportunities in PNG for servicing the ever increasing demand from consumer markets around the world. PNG can help meet global demand for fresh food and sustainable Arabica coffee, for example.

Our team has been involved in the recent transformation of the agribusiness industry in neighbouring Australia and has developed a deep understanding of agribusiness operations and the challenges facing the industry. We understand the sector’s key drivers and the need to manoeuvre through the challenges and develop new practices which are more efficient, cost-effective and in compliance with local and international regulations. We advise a range of clients involved in every stage of the commodities cycle, from production and financing through to distribution and trading.

We deliver

  • An integrated domestic and international team capable of delivering complex projects
  • Access to some of the world’s most experienced lawyers in the infrastructure, mining and commodities sectors
  • A full suite of legal services to leading clients in these sectors
  • Award-winning deals in resources, project finance, construction and M&A
  • Experience delivering outcomes in complex litigation matters

The below is an illustrative list of the projects and transactions that our lawyers have advised on relating to PNG. Prior to opening our office in Port Moresby, this work was undertaken with local counsel advising on PNG law aspects.

Our recent work

  • Together with local counsel, advised Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited on its acquisition of shares in Bougainville Copper Limited from Equity Trustees Limited.  The shares were transferred from Rio Tinto Limited to Equity Trustees following Rio’s decision to exit its holding in Bougainville Copper and to transfer its holding to an independent trustee
  • Advised the Allied Gold Group, an Australian-based gold producing mining company, on an A$80 million pre-payment facility from Red Kite, involving the sale of gold to Red Kite from Allied Gold Group mines in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. We advised on English and Australian law aspects of the transaction.
  • Advised a consortium led by an international oil and gas company on infrastructure construction related to a proposal to produce, process, transport and sell gas internationally.   
  • Advised a US/Indonesian firm of project consultants/construction managers in the preparation and presentation of a claims analysis to a contractor involved in the installation of a gas injection pipeline and crude oil flow line in the Lae Moran (Highlands Highway) development project in PNG.