Mining, Exploration & Mining Services

Western Australia is the centre of Australia’s mining industry, WA's mining and petroleum industries account for more than 90% of the State’s export income and more than 40% of Australia’s total export income. 

Williams + Hughes works with listed and non-listed mining and exploration companies and their directors and shareholders, in Australia and overseas.   Situated in the mining headquarters heartland of West Perth for almost 35 years, we have built up a solid depth of experience servicing the industry, including:

  • Wardens Court proceedings governed by the Mining Act relating to tenement expenditure and forfeiture and application objections
  • Contractual disputes relating to royalty, joint-venture, and toll agreements
  • Mining services disputes between exploration or mining companies and their drilling and mining contractors
  • Disputes relating to capital raising and other mandates with corporate advisors
  • Supreme Court and Federal Court claims relating to large-scale acquisitions of processing plants and the sale and purchase of mine operations

Members of our litigation team draw on their experience of having worked on-the-ground in various roles in surface exploration and underground gold and nickel operations in Western Australia, and our litigators have access to members of the commercial team with directorship experience in successful gold operations.

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Our notable and significant transactions include:

  • Australian legal adviser to TSX-V listed Novo Resources Corp. since 2010, including:
    • establishing all Australian subsidiaries (Conglomerate Gold, Beatons Creek Gold, Nullagine Gold, Karratha Gold, Grant's Hill Gold, Meentheena Gold, Rocklea Gold) and serving as a Director and Public Officer of all subsidiaries for over 9 years
    • negotiating and preparing all farm-in, joint venture and sale and purchase agreements, including due diligence and all transaction agreements with Mark Creasy Group, Millennium Minerals, Artemis Resources, Johnathon Campbell, Brad Smith, Gardner Mining, Pioneer Resources, Farno McMahon, Calidus Resources, Northwest Resources, Nimble Resources, Talga Resources, Mesa Minerals, and others
    • all Australian legal compliance and contracting work, including FIRB applications, heritage agreements, split minerals rights agreements, refining agreements, toll treatment, leases, access agreements, DMIRS compliance work, advising in relation to tenements issues, disputes, etc
    • company secretarial duties, advising in relation to employment issues and general day to day legal advice including complex stamp/transfer duty matters
  • Australian legal advisor to TSX listed Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified mining company. Advising on numerous Australian mining acquisitions and divestments over more than a decade
  • Legal adviser to ASX listed Image Resources for over 10 years in relation to numerous aspects of its Boonanarring Mineral Sands Project, including:
    • negotiating and preparing all land access, compensation, option and acquisition agreements (over thirty access agreements over private land)
    • general day to day legal advice including FIRB approvals, advising in relation to exploration and mining on private land, petroleum pipeline easements and easements over adjoining properties
  • Acting for ASX listed Kalamazoo Resources in relation to their IPO and subsequent tenement acquisitions and divestments
  • Advised ASX listed Cougar Metals in relation to Brazilian lithium project
  • Acted for ASX listed Middle Island Resources for several years in relation to numerous projects, including due diligence and acquistion of Sandstone gold processing plant and tenement package and various acquisitions and divestments in Western Australia, Niger, Liberia and Burkina Faso
  • Acted in a multi-million dollar contractual variation claim for provision of mining services near Kalgoorlie
  • Acted for New York investment fund Pavilion Capital in relation to a significant investment in Pilbara FIFO camp facilities
  • Advised privately owned garnet miner GMA Garnet Australia on Australian and South African Projects
  • Legal advisor to Lime Industries Group
  • Legal advisor to ASX listed Sifa Exploration for many years
  • Legal advisor to ASX listed De Grey Mining on various mining and exploration matters
  • Legal advisor to Titan Plant Hire, including reviewing and advising in relation to procument and plant hire to numerous major infrastructure and resources projects in Western Australia and Northern Territory
  • Advised ASX listed Magnetic Resources in relation to acquisition of gold projects
  • Advised ASX listed Mindax in relation to acquisition of gold projects, including farm-in agreements
  • Advised ASX listed Perilya Limited on acquisition of the iconic Broken Hill zinc, lead and silver mine in New South Wales
  • Advised for ASX listed companies in relation to potash, calcine and other projects
  • Acted for several ASX listed companies and/or major shareholders in relation to section 249 Notices and removal of Boards
  • Advised ASX listed Apex Minerals in relation to numerous matters, including restructuring of gold price linked debt facility facility (restructured $87 million debt financing facility including restructuring advice and negotiations with security trustee, hedge funds, etc), divestment of Gidgee and Youanmi projects and several litigation matters
  • Acted for a publicly listed gold miner in a Federal Court claim for damages of circa $24 million, in relation to a mining project in the Dominican Republic
  • Acted for a publicly listed gold miner in a Federal Court claim for damages in relation to a mining project in Vanuatu
  • Advised liquidators of company in relation to Federal Court action for misleading and deceptive conduct in the company’s acquisition of a $28 million joint venture interest in a mineral sands mining operation in South Australia
  • Acted in negligence claims against suppliers of aluminium tubing being used to make conveyer idlers, and against developers and suppliers of nitrite rubber for conveyor belt applications
  • Acted in a multi-million dollar Supreme Court contractual variation claim for provision of mining services
  • Acted for former director of a mining company in claims of breach of directors' duties under sections 180 to 184 Corporations Act, relating to the surrender of tenements acquired by other entities
  • Acted for ASX listed Emu Nickel in relation to various minerals projects
  • Advised ASX listed Portman Mining in relation to Woodie Woodie transaction
  • Advised ASX listed Kingsrose Mining in relation to acquisition of PT Natarang Mining
  • Advised ASX listed Sihayo Gold on several M&A deals
  • Advised ASX listed PepinNini Minerals on various matters including applications for tenement forfeiture
  • Advised ASX listed Posgold in relation to numerous M&A deals
  • Advised Nomad Resources in relation to establishment of offshore mining investment fund
  • Acted for ASX listed Murchison Metals in relation to Yilgarn infrastructure project
  • Acted for ASX listed Laconia Resources in relation to Gold Mines of Peru transactions
  • Acted for ASX listed Meteoric Resources in relation to various minerals projects
  • Appeared in the Warden’s Court on numerous mining related matters, including expenditure exemption applications and tenement forfeiture proceedings
  • Acted in Supreme Court proceedings for a publicly listed gold explorer in a claim for damages relating to a corporate advisory mandate for an IPO
  • Acted for publicly listed mining companies and mining services contractors,  in the prosecution and defence of contractual disputes in the Supreme Court and District Court relating to exploration drilling and mining contracts
  • Acted for ASX listed Las Lagunas in relation to dispute with Intermet regarding processing plant in Vanuatu
  • Advised in relation to divestment of Lennard Shelf lead and zinc project
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