Few industries have changed as dramatically as South Africa’s mining and energy sector, as our mining and resource lawyers can attest. Once dominated by a handful of private mining companies, the sector has seen private ownership of mineral rights converted to state custodianship, a new order licensing regime introduced and black economic empowerment (BEE) obligations imposed on local and foreign players.

The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA), which came into effect on 1 May 2004, has necessitated fundamental changes in the way mining companies operate in relation to ownership structures and the acquisition of rights to prospect and mine.

Dealing with disputes and environmental regulation

The evolving regulatory landscape (including the Mining Charter, as amended, and the Codes of Good Practice for the Mineral Industry) has led to a growing number of administrative disputes over the granting of prospecting and mining rights. In addition, mining companies are subject to increasingly stringent environmental regulation, particularly around waste management and rehabilitation of the surface of the earth disturbed during prospecting and mining.

With a well-established international network, our resources and mining lawyers come with extensive experience in structuring mining transactions to meet legislative and regulatory requirements, including the impact of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act. Mining clients include North American, European and Australian companies, as well as some of the major South African mining houses and empowerment mining companies.

Our services include advising on the MPRDA, Mining Charter and Codes of Good Practice; BEE legislation and regulation; mergers and acquisitions; environmental law (including waste management); mine health and safety; joint venture and pooling and Sharing agreements; mining and prospecting statutory and regulatory compliance; and processing and off-take agreements.

We also advise on matters in the mining and energy sector relating to banking and finance; litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution; internal appeals; and due diligence exercises.

Our mining lawyers have achieved the below rankings:

  • Legal500: Tier 2
  • IFLR1000: Tier 2
  • Chambers Global: Band 2

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