Unearthed: January 2012

January 2012

Contacts

Unearthed - January 2012 Click on image to download Unearthed - January 2012 (pdf kb).

A newsletter for clients and contacts in the global mining industry

 

Events

Upcoming events

Investing in African Mining Indaba - Cape Town, South Africa, 6-9 February 2012

Indaba is the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers in African mining. Norton Rose South Africa and a contingent of partners from Norton Rose Group offices around the globe will be hosting events at Indaba. Contact Alix Newbold to find out more or arrange a meeting with Norton Rose Group representatives.

PDAC 2012 International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange – Mining Investment Show, Toronto, Canada 4-7 March 2012

PDAC is the world’s leading convention for people, companies and organizations in, or connected with, mineral exploration. This four-day annual event is held in Toronto where over 25,000 attendees are expected from 120 countries. Norton Rose Group will be attending the conference and hosting events during PDAC. Contact Maureen Meehan to find out more or arrange a meeting with Norton Rose Group representatives.


Recent events

ECM breakfast briefing: Listing African Companies in London, 16 December 2011

African companies are increasingly looking to London's listed markets to raise capital. Held in our London office as part of our series of ECM breakfast briefings, the presentation used real-life examples including the recent AIM IPO of Zambeef, a Zambian agri-business, on which Norton Rose Group advised the issuer, to highlight the important issues and challenges including eligibility, structuring or local regulatory impediments which need to be considered when listing an African company in London.

Business ethics and anti-corruption: Global anti-corruption enforcement, Norton Rose OR LLP and French Institute of Business joint conference - Paris, France, 12 December 2011

Held at our offices in Paris, France, and a follow up to the previous joint event held in May 2011, the French Institute of Business Ethics and Norton Rose Paris, at which two major actors in global anti-corruption enforcement/regulation were present: the Serious Fraud Office and the World Bank, the event provided insight on the real scope which the Serious Fraud Office intends to give to the ambitious UK Bribery Act and provided a clearer picture of the compliance efforts required under the new international standards.

M&A breakfast briefing: Deal trends in public M&A, Wednesday 7 December 2011

Held in our London office, this briefing considered developments and trends in public company M&A in 2011 and insight into deal trends and recent developments in takeover reform.

Recent deals
  • Norton Rose Canada acted as counsel to TSX, AIM listed junior mining company Rambler Metals and Mining in connection with a C$10 million secured credit facility from Sprott Resource Lending Partnership Funds for the development and construction of Rambler’s Ming Mine (gold and copper) located in Baie Verte, Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Advising Anvil Mining in the context of its negotiations with Gecamines in the Democratic Republic of Congo pertaining to the offer made by Minmetals to acquire all the shares of Anvil
  • Advising Zamin Ferrous Ltd on a project for the development of a major magnetite mining, processing and exporting facility in Uruguay involving concentrate slurry pipelines and development of a deep water port.
  • Advising Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi on the proposed multi-billion dollar IPO of this Mongolian state-owned substantial coal mining business, with listings proposed in London, Hong Kong and MongoliaAdvising the mandated lead arrangers to Platinum Group Metals Ltd in connection with a US$260 million project finance facility for the development of the Western Bushveld Platinum Mine Project 1 in South Africa.
Legal updates, briefings and articles

On the front burner: Canada’s fight against bribery of foreign public officials

January 2012

The twelfth annual report on Canada’s fight against foreign bribery (the Report) was tabled before Parliament in the fall of 2011. The Report demonstrates a trend towards increased enforcement and legislative change that could affect the obligations of Canadian companies operating abroad.

Read the update


OJEU notices updater

November 2011

Although the infrastructure market deal pipeline is somewhat quiet, we remain positive in our long-term outlook and will continue to provide you with regular summary updates on projects being tendered in the UK. Visit our website for up-to-date articles on developments in the infrastructure market.

Read the updater


A guide to developing mining projects in Australia

December 2011

This guide has been produced by Norton Rose Australia as part of a series of in-depth mining guides covering a number of countries including Indonesia. It addresses risks and opportunities facing mining companies in Australia. It analyses the main legal and commercial issues that a mining company is likely to encounter, from initial exploration through to project development and the operational phase.

As demonstrated by this briefing, our global mining team combines international experience and best practice with a thorough understanding of doing business in Australia to enable us to facilitate Australian mining entities and their stakeholders in maximising value from their mining projects.

Download the Guide to developing mining projects in Australia (pdf 1.54MB)


Construction and infrastructure updater

The November 2011 construction and infrastructure updater profiles a case where the Court of Appeal had to consider an appeal relating to the dismissal of a claim for rectification on the grounds of mutual mistake or, alternatively, unilateral mistake. This case focuses on the difficulties of applying the principles of rectification explained by Lord Hoffmann in Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2009] 1AC 1101 as reported in our August 2009 Updater in particular the objective assessment of the parties’ contractual intentions.

Read the November 2011 updater

The December 2011 profiles the case where the Court of Appeal had to consider whether the trial judge was right to decide that the oral contract concluded between the parties for a fixed term of two years included a right to terminate upon three months’ written notice. This case focuses on the risk of commencing performance on the basis of partially completed contract terms.

Read the December 2011 updater


Australia’s intention to lift the ban on uranium exports to India

Author: Jehann Mendis, Senior associate, Perth

On Tuesday, 15 November 2011, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard outlined an intention to lift the ban on uranium exports to India.

Read more


Coal mine required to offset direct GHG emissions as a condition of planning approval

Authors: Felicity Rourke, Partner, Sydney; Amelia Dixon-Weidner, Associate, Sydney

On 24 November 2011, the Land and Environment Court delivered a landmark decision requiring the owners of a large coal mine to offset part of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the mine as a condition of planning approval to expand the existing mine. This is the first time the Court has imposed such a condition on a planning approval in NSW.

Read more


Ghana: Will recent pronouncements (including the Budget 2012) and an overhaul of legislation herald significant changes in the mining sector?

Ghana’s mining and minerals industry is one of its most important. It is reported that mining accounts for approximately 5 per cent of Ghana’s GDP and minerals make up 37 per cent of total exports.

Read the briefing


PNG Constitutional Crisis

Author: Les Gavara Nanu, Associate, Perth

On 12 December 2011 the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea (PNG) held that the election of Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister (PM) of PNG in August this year was unconstitutional and unlawful. The Supreme Court ordered, among other things, the immediate reinstatement of Sir Michael Somare as PM.

Read the briefing


Guinea: Wave of reform

Author: Poupak Bahamin, Partner, Paris

A reform of the Guinea mining sector was among the pillars of President Alpha Conde's electoral campaign, and he took office in late 2010 with the stated intention of creating a structure for the country to benefit from its vast mineral wealth. Poupak Bahamin outlines the mining reforms in Guinea.

To access Poupak's article, which first appeared in Mining Journal, follow this link (pdf 636.17KB)


Burkina Faso: under gold rush

Author: Jake Howard, Senior associate, London

When comparing it to many of its West African neighbours, which have undergone brutal civil wars, Burkina Faso has benefited from a relatively stable political scene during the past two decades. Burkina Faso, however, remains one of the world’s poorest countries. Recently Burkina Faso’s stability was jeopardized by unprecedented waves of opposition in several cities resulting from popular protests over rising prices since December 2010. In April 2011, these contestations were crystallised by police and soldiers protesting that the government had not paid their housing allowances.

When comparing it to many of its West African neighbours, which have undergone brutal civil wars, Burkina Faso has benefited from a relatively stable political scene during the past two decades. Burkina Faso, however, remains one of the world’s poorest countries.  Recently Burkina Faso’s stability was jeopardized by unprecedented waves of opposition in several cities resulting from popular protests over rising prices since December 2010.  In April 2011, these contestations were crystallised by police and soldiers protesting that the government had not paid their housing allowances.  

While it now seems that this turmoil has been resolved, it is likely that these events will have a negative impact on the legislative and municipal elections that have been rescheduled for the end of 2012. Despite this unrest, Burkina Faso continues its effort to enhance its legal and fiscal environment, efforts which have generally been considered a great success.

Jake Howard addresses the drivers that underlie Burkina Faso’s strong and long standing growth trend resulting from a general modernisation process to increase the appetite of mining companies to invest in the country.

To access Jake’s article, follow this link


Mining Journal
LOOK EAST

Infrastructure, mining and investment in Indonesia

Authors: Nick Merritt (Partner and Asia-Pacific head of Infrastructure, Mining and Commodities) and Lily McMyn (Associate) at Norton Rose (Asia) LLP

Nick Merrit and Lily McMyn explore the relationship between foreign direct investment, infrastructure and mining and looks at the country’s progress to date, its planned (and hoped for) infrastructure development and the challenges and opportunities faced by those willing to invest in the mining and infrastructure space in Indonesia.

Read the article


Outbound Chinese equity investments - understanding the regulatory approval process

Authors: Wang Yi (Partner) and Jeremy Pooley (Of counsel) at Norton Rose Group

Virtually all outbound equity investments by Chinese companies will require the prior approval of competent regulatory authorities in China before they can complete. The process for obtaining these approvals can be protracted but is reasonably transparent. The application procedure and the time limits for accepting or rejecting applications are set out in published regulations, and the responsibility for determining the economic and technical feasibility of the project rests solely with the Chinese investor. It is though important for all parties to a Chinese outbound equity investment to understand the approval process and the impact that it will have on the timing of the proposed transaction.

Read the article


The DRC - A maturing mining market

Author: Poupak Bahamin, Partner, Paris

This article first appeared in Mining Journal on 19 August 2011

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s prosperous soil has been known to conceal riches of cobalt, copper, gold, diamonds, cassiterite as well as coltan from which tantalum is extracted. Over recent years, exploitation has also been undertaken for iron ore mostly in the North Eastern part of the country while investors have begun to look for prospective potash deposits in the Bas Congo Province. In 2010, the mining sector represented nearly 25 per cent of the nation’s annual GDP and increased production in the sector contributed to 11.8 per cent of the nation’s annual growth.

Read the article


Article 181(5) of the Ghanaian Constitution and international arbitration agreements

December 2011

Article 181(5) of the Ghanaian Constitution provides that Parliamentary approval is required in respect of “international business transactions” to which the state of Ghana is a party.

Following a dispute that has recently arisen (and which has been referred to international arbitration) under a Power Purchase Agreement between Ghana and a Ghanaian subsidiary of Balkan Energy (the PPA), the scope of Article 181(5) has been called into question and is the subject of a forthcoming judgment by the Supreme Court of Ghana. The Supreme Court’s judgment will be of profound importance to international investors who have done or intend to do business in Ghana.

Read the briefing