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Mining

Faegre Baker Daniels' mining and natural resources team advises mining companies, project and financial sponsors, governments and industry service providers in all phases of the mining life cycle: exploration, development, production, marketing, abandonment and reclamation. We work with clients of all sizes, from Anglo-Australian majors to junior independents and prospectors, along with private equity sponsors and financial institutions that support exploration and exploitation of base and precious metals, industrial minerals, and mined energy resources such as coal, uranium and bitumen.

Our practice is both domestic and international, advising on projects in the United States, Canada, South America, the CIS, Africa, Asia and Australia. Members of the team have negotiated host government mining concessions, and routinely advise on domestic mineral title matters, including issues associated with federal, state and Indian lands.

Commercial Transactions

Experienced in greenfield and brownfield development projects, the firm's mining and natural resources team is versed in the various types of commercial and financial transactions encountered by mining industry participants, including:

  • Option, earn-in and participation agreements
  • Exploration and development agreements
  • Equity and contractual joint ventures
  • Mine construction contracts and operating agreements
  • Asset-based loans, project financings and related hedging transactions
  • Equity and debt capital markets
  • Acquisitions and divestitures (A&D) of mines and mining related assets

Environmental & Litigation

The team's environmental lawyers understand the mining life cycle, beginning with permitting of greenfield or brownfield development projects and ending with reclamation, abandonment, and decommissioning of mining facilities and assets. We help clients navigate federal and state environmental review and permitting processes, and represent mining enterprises in agency hearings and federal and state courts on environmental matters. We represent defendants in the following mining-related litigation:

  • Complex natural resource damages actions alleging impacts to soil, groundwater, surface water other resources
  • Disputes involving federal lands and minerals managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service
  • Royalty disputes
  • Commercial litigation matters relating to mine development, construction and operation
  • Mineral rights and leases disputes

Real Estate

We counsel mining clients, including those who mine silica sand and other industrial minerals, taconite, metallic minerals (Cu, Ni, PMG) and oil and gas, on real estate development, title and mineral ownership issues, and lending and financing matters related to mining real estate matters.

Public Policy

We are a leading advocate for mining at the federal level and in a number of states where our clients operate. Our public policy work for clients includes:

  • Engaging state regulatory agencies to positively impact mineral taxation, environmental review and permitting, mineral property rights and state leasing issues on behalf of clients.
  • Successfully advocating for favorable federal tax legislation and regulatory relief for mining industry clients.
  • Drafting federal legislative proposals, hearing testimony and regulatory comments regarding land use issues, Clean Air Act regulations and CERCLA/Superfund matters.
  • Advocating at the state level for laws and regulations that foster natural resource development and mining activity, including tax legislation and regulations.

Our experience includes working with and appearing before both houses of Congress and numerous federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) under the Department of Labor.

We also have a strong background in federal public lands issues, including natural resources development on public lands in the western United States. Related to this, we have one of the pre-eminent Indian lands practices through which we assist both tribal and non-tribal clients with mining and natural resources development matters.

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