Mining & Exploration
The New Zealand government retains ownership of in-ground petroleum and almost all mineral resources in New Zealand and is actively progressing an action plan to unlock New Zealand's petroleum potential and mineral estate. For mining and exploration companies looking to do business in New Zealand, understanding the permitting regime for exploiting minerals, gas and oil reserves is critical. Our mining and exploration specialists are market leaders, providing expert assistance through the legislative regimes.
We provide legal and strategic advice to many mining companies (including the two largest gold mining companies in New Zealand). We continue to be involved in the country's significant upstream oil and gas exploration and development projects.
Our legal specialists regularly engage with New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (the government department responsible for operational regulation of the Crown Mineral Estate) and advise clients on the applications process, permitting, and royalty regimes under the Crown Minerals Act. We also advise on licence issues, work programme negotiations, AFO regime, and bidding agreements through to the transfer or surrender of permits and foreign investment approvals where needed.
- Cargill - investment in the Spring Creek coal mining venture, including acquisition, shareholder, operating, transport and sale contracts
- OMV New Zealand - New Zealand oil and gas portfolio, including development of the Pohokura field, sale of Pohokura gas, renegotiation of the Maui oil and gas field arrangements, access arrangements for the Maui pipeline, Maari oil project and general joint venture issues
- New Zealand Oil & Gas - oil and gas portfolio, including Kupe field development and gas sales matters, ongoing exploration aspects of its Tui field development, joint venture issues, production arrangements, product sales and various exploration prospects, and investment in Pike River Coal
- OceanaGold (New Zealand) - $67 million dual currency operating lease facility for its new mining fleet and the extension of its secured syndicated bank facilities (including gold hedging facility)
- OceanaGold Corporation - New Zealand securities law issues, including in relation to its redomicile from Australia to Canada under a "top hat" scheme of arrangement, various private placements and overseas offers of securities and convertible bond issues to institutional holders
- Newmont Waihi Gold - mine development and operations contracts for both the Favona underground mine and Martha open cast mine, plant supply and install contracts, and various land and land use consenting matters
- New Zealand Minerals Industry Association - acting on behalf of this association in significant and long-standing litigation relating to the prohibition of mining throughout most of the Thames-Coromandel peninsula