Michael Hunt was a senior partner in Perth of the law firm Blake Dawson (now the international firm Ashurst). He left there in February 1996 to establish Hunt & Humphry as a specialist project law firm.
Michael Hunt has practised mining and petroleum law in Perth for over 40 years. He has been recognised nationally and internationally as a leading mining lawyer, regularly named as such in legal market surveys, such as the Financial Review’s survey of Australia’s top lawyers, the IBA’s “Who’s Who Legal – Mining Lawyers“, Asia Law’s Leading Lawyers and Best Lawyers.
Michael is named in Chambers Global Guide putting him amongst the top mining law practitioners in Australia. He is noted for his “exceptional knowledge of Western Australian legislation, tireless work on documents to meet deadlines, and extremely commercial attitude to business.”
He has acted as an expert witness in several court and arbitration proceedings. Michael Hunt has extensive experience consulting for the mining, petroleum, exploration and infrastructure industries to both government and non-government clients, nationally and internationally. In 1983 he conducted an inquiry into Western Australia’s mining laws and in 1987 reviewed Papua New Guinea’s mining laws. His comprehensive recommendations were incorporated into the mining legislation of both jurisdictions. For many years he served on the Government’s Mining Industry Liaison Committee which regularly reviews the condition of the Western Australian mining industry and assesses the need for changes in law and practice.
A former national President and founding member of AMPLA – The Resources and Energy Law Association, his writings include the book Mining Law in Western Australia (the fourth edition of which has sold out and a fifth edition has now been published in 2016), the “Energy and Resources” volume of Halsbury’s Laws of Australia and the book Minerals and Petroleum Laws of Australia (which is a comprehensive review of all onshore and offshore petroleum and mining laws throughout Australia).
Michael is an important member of the team focussing on projects in emerging markets. He has advised on proposed resource and property developments overseas in many countries including Guyana, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Mauritania, Zambia, Eritrea, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Falkland Islands and Vietnam.
For more than 30 years he was a director of ASX listed junior exploration/mining companies. He was chairman of Geographe Resources Ltd when it participated in the successful Chalice Gold Mine. Michael was non-executive Chairman of Comdek Ltd (now called Resource Generation Ltd, ASX listed) which is putting into production significant coal resources in South Africa. He was the founding Chairman of Red Back Mining NL (formerly ASX listed) and then a non-executive Director of Red Back Mining Inc (listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange). In these roles over a period of 13 years he assisted in taking Red Back from junior Australian explorer to a listing on the TSX, subsequent gold production at Chirano in Ghana and Tasiast in Mauritania and an $8bn merger with Kinross Gold Corporation. Until August 2013 Michael Hunt was non-executive Chairman of Azimuth Resources Ltd (ASX and TSX listed) a successful gold explorer in Guyana. He resigned as a result of successfully negotiating a merger agreement with Troy Resources Ltd, also listed in both Canada and Australia.