Our highly skilled Mining & Minerals experts

are a solution-driven and dynamic team capable of offering a full range of services in a comprehensive and commercial way.

Groundbreaking Matters

Clients are quick to highlight the team's strength in mining M&A, confirming: "They're strong on the transactional side."

Chambers Global 2019

Our team is multi-disciplinary and includes a number of leading legal experts across a broad range of areas of specialty. Our immersive and longstanding association with the resources sector means we have sound, practical knowledge and are capable of offering a full range of services in a comprehensive and commercial way.

Our lawyers are highly skilled and have extensive experience. We are a solution driven and dynamic team and are well placed to offer relevant advice at a strategic level as well as on day-to-day legal issues.

Our Services include:

  • Transactional.
  • Commercial.
  • Black Economic Empowerment.
  • Regulatory.
  • Commercial Disputes.
  • Health and Safety.
  • Employment.
  • Environmental.
  • Business Rescue, Restructuring and Insolvency.
  • Property.
  • Tax.
  • Financing.
  • Projects and Infrastructure.
  • Competition.
  • Insurance.
  • Advised Atlatsa Resources Corporation on its transactions with Anglo American Platinum relating to mineral asset sales, share and debt restructuring, share subscriptions, debt reduction structuring, company law, exchange control, mining regulatory advice and implementation. Our firm advised fully on all aspects of this exceptionally complex transaction.

  • Acted for Sekoko Resources (Pty) Limited / Sekoko Coal (Pty) Limited in the Firestone Energy Project - Sale of shares in Firestone Energy, acquisition by Seychelles company of a share interest in Sekoko Coal, Waterberg Coal Company take-over of Firestone Energy (both listed in Australia), group funding and restructuring advice; advice on mineral titles and regulatory issues; undertaking of funding obligations; tax advice.

  • Acted for Anglo American Platinum and Rustenberg Platinum Mines Ltd in an oversight legal review of its platinum operations, mining regulatory compliance, labour law advice and compliance, mining law advice on security of tenure of mining rights. The matter was complex and politically sensitive.

  • Acted for EVRAZ Plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange in its disposal of its 85% equity stake in Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Limited, a company listed on the main board of the securities exchange operated by the JSE Limited ("JSE").

  • Advised Lanxess Deutschland Gmbh and Lanxess Chrome Mine (Pty) Ltd on the acquisition of portions of chrome rights from Glencore/Xstrata, swap of portions of chrome mining rights between the parties, contract mining arrangements, reservation of ownership of PGM ores in certain seams, regulatory structuring for implementation of agreements, revision of mining work programmes, social and labour plans and environmental authorisations to sales and swap portions.

  • Advised Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited on an acquisition by Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited of a 16.2% stake in Platmin Limited (formerly listed on the JSE) incorporated in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The listing of Platmin Limited's shares (now called Sedibelo Platinum Limited) on the LSE, and a secondary listing on the JSE.

  • Acting for Gold Fields (the Issuer) in the unbundling of Gold Fields shares.

  • Act for African Rainbow Minerals Ltd, one of the 32 respondents in an application for certification of a class action related to silicosis and/or tuberculosis allegedly contracted by mineworkers in South African gold mines since 1956. The consolidated certification application relates to 82 South African gold mines. The legal issues and issues of fact that have to be considered/addressed for purposes of the certification application are complicated

  • Acting for Northam Platinum Limited (the Issuer) in the claw back offer of 15,000,000 shares. Deal Value and its BEE transaction structure.

  • Legal advisers to Lonmin plc (a London listed platinum mining entity) in respect of all its South African operations including the preparation of its mining related agreements such as smelting agreements, concentrate off-take agreements, joint venture agreements, exploration agreements, project management agreements and mine development documentation; its labour law issues and the commission of enquiry for Marikana; its various rights offers and its black economic empowerment transactions as well as on regulatory matters and environmental law trends in eight jurisdictions where platinum is used in the manufacture of catalytic converters.
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Lonmin, the world's third largest platinum producer and an entity with the majority of its shareholders and operations in South Africa.  It is listed on the stock exchanges of both London and Johannesburg.  Our mining team is advising this client in a transaction involving the settlement of agreements and regulatory documentation for an all-share offer.  Under the terms of the deal, Sibanye Gold, trading as Sibanye-Stillwater, and/or a wholly-owned subsidiary, will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Lonmin.  The deal will be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement between Lonmin and the Lonmin shareholders under Part 26 of the UK Companies Act.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is acting for Northam Platinum, a mining company listed on the JSE and one of the biggest platinum producers in the world. Our mining team is advising this client in in its acquisition of additional mineral resources from Anglo American Platinum. The deal will be effected though the ZAR 1 billion acquisition of a portion of the Amandelbult Mine. The Amandelbult transaction will increase the life of Northam's Zondereinde Mine by 10 years, securing an additional 16.7 million ounces of platinum group metals and will bring potential cost savings and reduce mining risks.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is the on-going adviser to Investec Equity Partners, the private equity investments business of Investec Bank. Our mining and corporate/M&A teams acted together for Investec in its ZAR multi-billion acquisition of Idwala Industrial Holdings. The target is a leading South African miner and producer of industrial minerals and lime. The seller was a private equity consortium which was vended into Synthesis Chemical Holdings (Synchem), a chemical holdings group created and controlled by Investec Equity Partners.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Sishen Iron Ore Company Proprietary Limited (SIOC), a subsidiary of Kumba Iron Ore limited, part of the Anglo American Group. Our mining team advised this client in a transaction which involved the disposal of the Thabazimbi Mine (including all assets, immovable property and related liabilities). The deal also included complex structuring and drafting advice to address a myriad of tax, mining, property, regulatory and environmental considerations.  Importantly, and given that the town of Thabzimbi revolves around the mine, the needs of the Thabazimbi community were identified and were incorporated into the Mine’s social closure plan. AMSA, as part of its current financial obligation, will take over the entire social closure plan and will be responsible for the execution, implementation and funding of these identified projects while SIOC will retain a right of oversight.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Platinum Group Metals, the leading Canada-based mining company focused on the production of platinum and palladium. Our client is one of the largest and most promising platinum reserves in the world and is listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Our mining team advised this client in the extension, rationalisation and unitisation of its Waterberg One joint venture with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) with its neighbouring Waterberg Extension joint venture with Mnombo Wethu Consultants. We also advised in the corporatisation of the joint ventures into a single corporate entity, Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Limited, including all commercial, corporate, tax, funding and regulatory applications and the transfer of all mineral titles. This matter is complex, as the corporatisation is taking place on an asset-for-share basis with parties which hold different rights in separate joint ventures. The existing joint ventures require rationalisation prior to corporatisation. In addition, post-closing funding is required to be provided by JOGMEC and will determine its final shareholding in the corporate entity.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is again acting for Northam Platinum, an important repeat client of our firm. Our mining team advised this client in its acquisition of the Eland Mine from Glencore South Africa Proprietary and its joint venture partner. The Eland Mine transaction will see Northam increase its platinum group metals resource by an additional circa 21.3 million ounces and will provide Northam with a medium-term option over a large, shallow resource with fully-developed surface infrastructure. Northam will also be acquiring a sizeable mining fleet. Subsequent to the transaction's closure we have provided Northam with on-going advice in several aspects of its planning for the re-commencement of the Eland Mine, including outstanding mining law approvals, land use issues, settlement of land claims, and environmental law planning.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Atlatsa Resources Corporation, a Canadian-listed entity. Our mining team is advising this client in in a transaction with Anglo American Platinum for the restructuring of the Bokoni Mine. Our work has included lead-role advice on a wide range of issues including mineral asset sales, preference share and share rationalisation, debt restructuring, share subscriptions, debt reduction structuring, complex company and equity capital markets advice, exchange control, mining regulatory advice, substantive mining law advice, implementation, novation of previous transactions, increase in working capital facilities and the addition of further mineral properties to sale portfolio. This transaction will allow Atlatsa to dispose of an underperforming mine asset which had significant cash outflows in the short to medium term, while at the same time restructuring its current and future debt obligations through the implementation of a financial restructuring plan.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Platinum Group Metals and Platinum Group Metals (RSA) in their sale, with Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) of 15 per cent of their shareholding in Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Limited to Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats). Additionally, Implats was granted a Purchase & Development Option to increase its interest in Waterberg JV to up to 50.01 per cent. Under the terms of the deal Implats can purchase an additional equity interest from JOGMEC, earning into the remaining interest by making a firm commitment to an expenditure of US$130 million in development work, with a right of first refusal to smelt and refine Waterberg Project ore.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for Capitalworks and Petmin Limited (Capitalworks), a private equity company with US$515 million in assets under management; and Petmin, the South Africa-based miner. Our mining team advised these clients in respect of Capitalworks’ takeover bid for Petmin. The transactions entailed a unique offer mechanism, which has not been previously used in the South African market. Under the terms of the deal, the takeover offer is made by a simultaneous scheme of arrangement and general offer which are made and open concurrently. This mechanism effectively shortens the offer period substantially when compared to the usual scheme of arrangement followed by a standby offer. For this reason, it was necessary to overcome mining and other regulatory hurdles and to obtain regulatory dispensations (such as the extension of settlement periods on the JSE).

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is acting for Evraz Group, the leading Russia-based steel producer. Our mining team advised this client in its disposal of its 78.8 per cent economic interest in Strategic Minerals Corporation, the US holding company of Evraz Vametco Holdings Limited, a South African vanadium producer, to Bushveld Vametco Limited, a diversified mining company listed on AIM.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based global steel manufacturing corporation and the world's largest steel producer. Our mining team advised this client which sold its 50 per cent stake in Kalagadi Alloys (Pty) Limited; and ArcelorMittal Sourcing which sold its interests in a manganese off-take agreement to Kgalagadi Alloys, with funding from the African Development Bank and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa. ArcelorMittal, Daphne Nkosi (through Kalahari Resources) and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) are currently the shareholders in Kalagadi Manganese (Pty) Limited. ArcelorMittal Sourcing had a preferential off-take agreement with Kalagadi. The transaction resulted in Kalagadi Alloys, a special purpose vehicle for D Nkosi, taking transfer of the 50 per cent shareholding of ArcelorMittal and taking cession and delegation of the rights and obligations of ArcelorMittal Sourcing in and to the off-take agreement.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Eastern Platinum and Messina Platinum Mines, subsidiaries of Lonmin plc. Our mining team advised these clients in two separate but linked transactions. Firstly, we advised in the acquisition by Eastern Platinum of Anglo Platinum subsidiary, Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited's 42.5 per cent participation interest in the Pandora Joint Venture. Pandora is a PGM mine in South Africa. We also advised on the lease, by Rustenburg Platinum Mines from Messina Platinum Mines, of a concentrator for processing PGMs from its Mogalakwena mine. Secondly, we represented Eastern Platinum in its acquisition of the remaining 7.5 per cent participation interest in the Pandora Joint Venture from Northam Platinum subsidiary, Mvelaphanda Resources.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Two Rivers Platinum and African Rainbow Minerals, South Africa-based mining companies. Our mining team advised these clients in a High Court litigation against the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union in regard to Sunday Labour exemption under the Mines & Works Act. Other parties sued in this action were the Minister of Mineral Resources, the Director-General of the Department of Mineral Resources and the National Union of Mineworkers.  In this litigation, AMCU sought to review and set aside a decision by the Minister to grant Two Rivers Platinum the right to conduct mining operations, including production, on a Sunday in terms of its continuous cycle of shifts.  AMCU argued firstly that the absence of its consent meant that the Sunday Labour Permission should not have been granted; and secondly that work on Sundays was not "in the national interest", as required by legislation. Judgment was handed down in favour of Two Rivers Platinum. However, this occurred after the then Ministerial permission had expired and a further application had been instituted by Two Rivers Platinum, which AMCU also challenged. AMCU opposed all attempts to obtain temporary interim authorisations whilst it awaited the Minister's decision on Two Rivers Platinum's follow up application. This included four urgent applications in the High Court by AMCU that were opposed, successfully, on short notice.

Sector Rankings

  • Chambers Global 2017–2019 ranked our Mining & Minerals sector in Band 2 for energy & natural resources: mining.
  • Chambers Global 2012–2016 ranked our Mining & Minerals sector in Band 3 for energy & natural resources: mining.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2012–2019 recommended us in Tier 2 for mining.
  • IFLR1000 2016–2020 ranked us in Tier 2 for Project development: mining.

Ranked Practitioners

  • Allan Reid is the Sector Head for the Mining & Minerals team. Chambers Global 2017–2019 ranked him in Band 2 for energy & natural resources: mining. Chambers Global 2012–2016 ranked Allan in Band 3 for energy & natural resources: mining. The Legal 500 EMEA 2011–2019 recommended him for mining.

  • Chambers Global 2017–2019 ranked Sandra Gore in Band 3 for environment. The Legal 500 EMEA 2017 recommended her for mining. Sandra was identified in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2015, 2017 for environmental law.
     
  • Willem Jacobs is the National Practice Head of the Corporate & Commercial team. Chambers Global 2014–2019 ranked Willem in Band 2 for corporate/M&A. The Legal 500 EMEA 2016–2019 recommended him as a leading individual for commercial, corporate/M&A. Willem was also recommended in 2012–2016 for mining; as well as commercial, corporate and M&A. IFLR1000 2018-2020 recommended Willem as a highly regarded lawyer for M&A and private equity. IFLR1000 2011–2015 and 2017 recommended him as a leading lawyer in this area. Who’s Who Legal 2017–2018 identified Willem as a leading lawyer for M&A. He was identified as a leading lawyer by The International Who’s Who of Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers 2014 and was identified in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2014.

  • Chambers Global 2018 - 2019 ranked Julian Jones in Band 3 for restructuring/insolvency. The Legal 500 EMEA 2013–2019 recommended him for dispute resolution.

  • Chambers Global 2018-2019 ranked Fiona Leppan in Band 2 for employment. Chambers Global 2016–2017 ranked her in Band 3 for employment. The Legal 500 EMEA 2012–2019 recommended her for employment. IFLR1000 2012 recommended Fiona as a leading lawyer. Who’s Who Legal 2017–2018 identified her as a leading labour & employment practitioner. She was identified in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2014, and in The International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment 2011–2017.

  • Chambers Global 2017–2019 ranked Mark Linington in Band 1 for tax: consultants. Chambers Global 2007–2016 ranked Mark in Band 2 for tax: consultants. The Legal 500 EMEA 2019 recommended Mark in investment funds. In 2013, 2016–2018 recommended Mark for tax. The Legal 500 EMEA 2016 recommended him for commercial, corporate/M&A. Mark was identified as a leading lawyer by Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax – Advisory for 2017. The Legal Experts EMEA 2012 listed him as an expert in his field. Mark was endorsed as a tax adviser by PLC Which Lawyer? 2008–2012.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2017–2019 recommended Giada Masina for mining. Chambers Global ranked Giada as up and coming in Band 1 for mining.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2014 recommended Richard Marcus for dispute resolution. He was also listed in 2018 for insolvency and reorganisation law. Richard was named as the exclusive South African winner of the ILO Client Choice Awards 2018 in the insolvency & restructuring category.

  • Aadil Patel is the National Practice Head of the Employment team. Chambers Global 2015–2019 ranked him in Band 2 for employment. The Legal 500 EMEA 2012–2018 recommended him for employment. He was named as the exclusive South African winner of the ILO Client Choice Awards 2014 in the employment & benefits category. Who’s Who Legal 2017–2018 identified Aadil as a leading labour & employment practitioner. He was identified in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2014, and in The International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment 2011–2014. Chambers Global 2017–2018 ranked Gillian Lumb in Band 4 for employment. The Legal 500 EMEA 2012–2014 and 2017–2019 recommended her for employment.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2018 recommended Verushca Pillay for commercial, corporate/M&A. IFLR1000 2018-2020 recommended Verushca as a notable practitioner.


  • Deon Wilken is the National Practice Head of the Finance & Banking team. Chambers Global 2014–2019 ranked him in Band 3 for banking & finance. The Legal 500 EMEA 2013–2019 recommended him for banking and finance. IFLR1000 2018-2020 recommended Deon as a highly regarded lawyer for capital markets: debt, energy and infrastructure and for project finance. IFLR1000 2014–2015 and 2017 recommended him for capital markets: debt, energy and infrastructure and for project finance.