Natural Resources (Mining and Energy)

Hunt & Humphry’s core sector focus is natural resources; mining and energy.

The firm has been rated by Chambers & Partners as a Top 20 resources firm across Australia and recognised as a “boutique firm that has distinguished itself” for our specialist focus on projects and transactions in the mining and energy sectors.

We are the only niche firm ranked “Premier” (the top classification) in both resources and native title and one of very few non-national firms in Australia receiving that ranking in any category. Michael Hunt and Conrad Marais are also individually rated, the former as one of only three in the “Pre-eminent” category. Michael Hunt has also been voted as the number one resources lawyer in Western Australia and in the Bulletin’s Top 50 lawyers in Australia principally for his mining and oil & gas expertise.

We advise across a full range of issues and transactions across the life of a mining project from general project development and project structuring to resource and infrastructure tenure issues, land use and access, native title and Aboriginal heritage, property, environment, construction and State agreements. Our practice area expertise extends to corporate and commercial (including a full range of public and private company work – M&A, joint ventures and restructures), litigation, finance (including project finance) and emerging markets (including Africa, Asia and South America).

We act for a wide range of clients including major mining explorers and producers.  We have advised companies such as Newcrest Mining, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Minara Resources.  We also act for clients ancillary to the resources industry including suppliers, government agencies (such as Western Australia’s Port Hedland Port Authority – operator of the World’s leading bulk commodity port), pastoralists, construction and service companies, property developers, mining industry associations, investors and other project stakeholders.

Members of our team have also acted for resources-focused commercial lenders such as Standard Bank of South Africa and ABSA Bank, as well as European and development finance institutions.

Our expertise extends to the energy sector where we act for developers, shareholders, State utilities and other interested parties in both upstream and downstream activities. We advise on project development (including a wide range of relevant commercial agreements), concession arrangements, PSAs, GSAs, farm-ins, farm-outs, exploration, financings and general corporate and commercial issues.

We have acted for majors such as Apache Energy (Devil’s Creek) and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Macedon) and junior explorers operating in Australia, South-East Asia and Africa.  Michael Hunt’s expertise in the mining and oil & gas sector has resulted in him being voted as the number one resources lawyer in Western Australia and in the Bulletin’s Top 50 lawyers in Australia.  Michael is also the author of 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). In relation to the firm’s experience in emerging markets, Conrad Marais is individually rated in the projects and energy market in Africa in Chambers Global.

Emerging Markets
We have an extensive track record in all the major economic centres in Africa, Asia and other emerging markets.   We are able to provide companies based in Australia with expertise on developing projects in Africa without the costly and time-consuming need to refer to London or Paris.  Conrad Marais is individually rated in Chambers Global, the only Australian-based lawyer rated for his projects and energy expertise in Africa.

We provide project development, corporate/commercial and finance support across a range of sectors and offer a one-stop solution for setting up and doing business in emerging markets.

The firm’s focus on mining and resources and the growing connection between Australia and emerging markets such as Africa and Asia, has resulted in Hunt & Humphry joining forces with leading emerging markets project finance and corporate law firm Trinity International LLP  as a specialised projects and project finance team focussing on emerging markets, particularly Africa, Asia, and Australasia. With complementary practices in London, Johannesburg and Perth the team helps resource clients based in Australia/Asia by connecting them and their projects and transactions in emerging markets with the debt and equity capital in London/Europe and Africa whilst offering on-the-ground legal and corporate/commercial support and expertise in Australia, Europe and Africa. More+