Fieldfisher Mining and Metals Team advises on US$3.4bn of deals and disputes in 2022

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High-value disputes and investigations coupled with demand for financing and transactional assistance contributed to a strong year for Fieldfisher’s mining and metals specialists.

Fieldfisher recorded another stellar year for mining and metals-related transactions, litigation and general advice in 2022, advising on matters collectively valued at more than US$3.4 billion.

The firm now advises more than 60 clients worldwide, with particular strengths in Europe and Africa, plus a growing roster of Asian clients.

Notable trends in client instructions included mandates connected to the growth of the ‘cleantech’ minerals sector, which generated more demand for financing advice but also greater potential for disputes. 

Issues arising as a consequence of the Ukraine conflict prompted a number of instructions in relation to asset divestments and re-routing of supply chains.

Against a tougher capital markets background and rising costs, the team also saw more M&A and distressed corporate activity, and demand for alternative financing such as prepayment facilities remained strong.

Investigations and compliance issues is a new and rapidly growing area of work for the Mining and Metals Team, following the appointment in December 2021 of a new commercial crime team comprising leading natural resources specialists.

Clients also continued to seek advice on ESG-related issues last year.

Notable instructions included:

  • Representing ENRC in relation to an ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation;
  • Advising CleanTech Lithium PLC on its admission to trading on London’s AIM market with a market cap of £23.7m and placing raising £5.6 million;
  • Advising a commodity trading house on a €55m prepayment facility with a Turkish multinational for the production of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate; and
  • Advising Amur Minerals Corporation on the US$35m sale of its Kun-Manie nickel-copper sulphide project in Russia to a vehicle controlled by Russian entrepreneur, Vladislav Sviblov.

Commenting on Fieldfisher’s mining and metals sector activity in 2022, Head of Mining and Metals Jonathan Brooks said:

2022 was an excellent year for our team, driven by an increasingly competitive and complicated mining and metals industry.

While clients’ needs to finance projects remains an ever-present feature of our practice, last year we saw more requests for assistance with various compliance requirements, climate-related and environmental risks, and high-value commercial disputes.

2023 looks set to be another busy year for our team, particularly in light of the surging demand for battery minerals and continued supply chain disruption.”

For further details, download a copy of the mining and metals team’s 2022 highlights.