Investments in international mineral and mining
Legal support and assistance in mineral and mining investments in the Philippines
The Philippines holds the world’s second largest gold reserves and are rich also in copper, nickel, and chromite. Mining is one of the country’s boom sectors, and regulatory changes open this industry sector more and more for foreign investments.
Although the Philippine Constitution declared that minerals as the natural resource are owned by the Philippine government and must not be alienated, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 allows 100% ownership of the claimed mining land area and minerals by foreign mining corporations. However, the Mining Policy as of 2012 introduces restrictions on mineral production sharing agreements (MPSA), financial or technical assistance agreements (FTAA) and explorations permits.
PUGNATORIUS advises on mining projects in the Philippines in close cooperation with an experienced mining and mineral law firm in Manila and provides legal services across the entire lifecycle of projects in the energy and mining industries in these areas:
- Acquiring or disposing of interests in mining claims
- Due diligence on Philippine mining investments: legal compliance, licenses, and royalty agreements, etc.
- Get the mining project fit for financing
- Independent information regarding local mining legislation and industry practice,
- Design and negotiation of joint venture operating agreements
- Compliance check
To diligent structure a mining investment, it is essential to have a clear understanding how the mining business is legally structured. Each case is different, but in the center of an ongoing mining operation stands the project entity, typically a corporation set-up under local legislation. Shareholders are the project developer/entrepreneur and the investors’ side. Their internal relations are covered and regulated by a joint venture agreement.
Experience shows that the local law firm often concentrates just on one or some legal aspects of the overall structure without connecting the dots to see the full picture. This keeps the foreign developer blissfully ignorant about the economic consequences of the legal structure.
How to understand the legal structure of a mining project
Acquisition and disposition of mine properties, mineral title examination, opinions and curatives, royalty agreements and disputes, mining leases and joint-venture agreements, mine development and construction documentation, operating agreements and joint ventures, smelting and refining documentation and contracts, environmental protection and enhancement program, environmental compliance certificate, split-estate and surface use conflicts, regulatory compliance assistance, appeals of enforcement actions, fines and penalties, obtain and defend permits for mining operations, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) together with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), public land law, environmental and natural resources law, mining litigation, indigenous laws, endangered species concerns, historic and cultural resource clearances, climate change issues, water resources and strategy, mining asteroids, deep space industries, planetary resources.