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Webber Wentzel's Mining Sector services include (click on a point below to read more):

 

 

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Regulatory & Government Relations

Prospecting and Mining Rights

Our team has extensive experience:

  • advising clients on all aspects of South African mining and mineral law
  • reviewing applications for (and applications for renewals of) prospecting rights, mining rights and mining permits prior to submission to the Department of Mineral Resources to ensure they meet the requirements of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, No. 28 of 2002 (MRDPA) and its regulations
  • advising on and preparing applications for minesterial consent in terms of sections 11 and 102 of the MPRDA
  • advising on, preparing and submitting section 53 applications
  • submitting applications to the Department of Mineral Resources via the SAMRAD online system
  • compiling and submitting applications in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act No. 2 of 2000
  • developing and implementing in-house procedures to ensure compliance with the MPRDA and the terms and conditions of mineral and mining-related rights
  • managing and rectifying non-compliance notices issued by the Department of Mineral Resources in terms of sections 93 and 47 of the MPRDA
  • attending to the notarial executions and registration of rights in terms of the Mining Titles Registration Act, No 16 of 1967
  • providing high-level due diligence reports and title opinions as well as in depth compliance due diligence reports
  • lodging and defending objections to prospecting right and mining right applications


Judicial Proceedings

We assist clients in:

  • bringing finality to pending applications for either prospecting rights or mining rights (that have been accepted by the regional manager, but which have not been decided within a reasonable period of time) by way of court applications to compel the Minister of Mineral Resources to decide the applications
  • mediation and arbitration on mining matters
  • judicial review appeals in terms of section 96 of the MPRDA
  • internal appeals against administrative action in terms of section 96 of the MPRDA


Key Contacts:

Jonathan Veeran
Manus Booysen
Patrick Leyden
Rita Spalding

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Immovable Property

Our team comprises qualified notaries and conveyancers who are experienced in:

  • negotiating and drafting agreements of sale of immovable property
  • attending to the transfer and registration of immovable properties
  • attending to the subdivision and consolidation of immovable properties
  • preparing and lodging applications in terms of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, No. 70 of 1970
  • negotiating, preparing, executing and registering notarial lease agreements and various notarial documents including servitudes (ie for access, right of way and conveyance of electricity and water servitudes)
  • negotiating and drafting land use and compensation agreements
  • dealing with difficult farmers / landowners and mineral law
  • advising in respect of surface rights permits


Key Contacts:

Manus Booysen
Megan Visser
Rita Spalding

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General Commercial / Corporate M&A

We have one of the strongest corporate / M&A practices in South Africa and are widely regarded as a market leader in transactional and capital markets work. Our firm is routinely involved in “first of its kind” deals and has developed and refined many of the structures and transactional techniques that have become market accepted best practice.

Our offering is enhanced by superior tax, exchange control, banking and finance, competition /anti-trust, regulatory and intellectual property expertise.

Our services cover the full spectrum of corporate and commercial transactions and advisory work, including:

  • high-level due diligence reports and title opinions as well as in depth compliance due diligence reports
  • mine development and concession agreements
  • mergers and acquisitions (public and private)
  • private equity and venture capital transactions
  • joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • listings and IPOs
  • restructurings, demergers and spin-offs
  • advising on black economic empowerment and indigenisation transactions to ensure compliance with legislation, preparing the necessary agreements as well as opinions on black economic empowerment and indigenisation compliance
  • corporate governance, including matters related to the King Code of Governance for South Africa 2009 (commonly referred to as 'King III')
  • share incentive schemes
  • social licence to operate (including mine host community development arrangements)


Our team also renders services relating to:

  • restructuring - auctions / tenders / public procurement
  • negotiating and preparing agreements relating to the conduct of mining operations such as: 

    • drilling agreements
    • contract mining agreements
    • supply and off-take agreements
    • technical service agreements
    • service level agreements
    • joint venture agreements / shareholder agreements
    • logistic agreements (for example: Transnet Freight Rail, Richard Bay Coal Terminal and road transport)
    • agreements and arrangements relating to the construction and establishment of mines and their associated infrastructure (eg: road, rail, port, power ) as well as the front end engineering and design thereof
    • marketing agreements
    • management agreements
    • exploration agreements

Key Contacts:

Bruce Dickinson
Jon Forman
Lebo Mpumlwana
Robert Appelbaum
Sipho Methula

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Environmental Law

We provide practical and comprehensive advice on the MPRDA and environmental compliance requirements in regard to applications for environmental consents, including:

  • legal opinions as to when environmental consents are required
  • regulatory advice throughout application processes to ensure compliance with legal obligations
  • auditing to assess compliance with conditions of environmental consents

The environmental team also has extensive experience in:

  • EMPs / EMPRs to prospecting / mining rights including the proposed shifts in regulation between the Department of Mineral Resources and Department of Environmental Affairs
  • drafting the necessary trust deeds
  • due diligence investigations
  • representing clients at REMDEC hearings
  • internal appeals and High Court review applications
  • advising on the transferability of environmental consents
  • contract drafting, including appropriate environmental warranties and indemnities
  • attending RMDEC meetings and liaising with RMDEC in relation to objections
  • co-ordinating environmental impact assessments and obtaining all necessary permits

Click here to read the section on "Environmental Law" and here to read the section on "Renewable Energy" from Investing in South Africa - Charting the legal landscape.

Key Contacts:

Candice Pillay
Marius Diemont
Garyn Rapson

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Tax

Our tax experts assist mining clients with:

  • employee incentive schemes
  • black economic empowerment structuring
  • refinance structuring
  • acquisition and disposal structuring (including listings, sales, etc.)
  • buy-out transactions for corporate or equity funds
  • advice on general corporate / M&A, VAT and disputes
  • structuring and winding up rehabilitation trusts
  • advice and opinions on international tax structures
  • exchange control


Key Contacts:

Anne Bennett
Dries Hoek
Makwena Mantsho

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Health & Safety

We assist clients by:

  • advising and representing employers, executives, managerial employees, contractors and other stakeholders at investigations and inquiries before the relevant regulator in terms of both the Mine Health and Safety Act, No. 29 of 1996 (MHSA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No. 85 of 1993 (OHSA)
  • advising in respect of all post investigation and inquiry legal processes before the relevant regulator in terms of both the MHSA and OHSA, including dealing with the imposition of fines by the relevant regulator and / or any recommendations made by the relevant regulator for the prosecution of employers, executives, managerial employees, contractors and other stakeholders in terms of the MHSA and / or OHSA
  • drafting representations to the National Prosecuting Authority in respect of intended prosecutions and / or applications for indemnity from prosecution subsequent to inquiries
  • representing them in criminal trials based on allegations of breaches of occupational health and safety legislation and / or charges stemming from work-related accidents
  • representing them at inquests in terms of the Inquests Act, No. 58 of 1959
  • carrying out health and safety legal compliance audits and due diligence
  • drafting health and safety related agreements, including collective agreements and agreements in terms of section 37(2) of the OHSA
  • conducting health and safety legal liability training programmes
  • advising on legally compliant and appropriate organisational structuring and the drafting of appropriate statutory letters of appointment in terms of MHSA and / or the OHSA
  • advising in relation to the upliftment of work stoppage instructions issued by the relevant regulator under the MHSA and / or OHSA
  • applying for exemptions from the MHSA and / or the OHSA
  • representing them and engaging with the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate and the Department of Labour in respect of health and safety issues
  • representing them and engaging with Governmental Departments and Parliamentary Portfolio Committees in respect of health and safety issues
  • representing them in respect of civil actions arising out of health and safety incidents and accidents


Key Contacts:

Ganeefah Dawood
Kate Collier
Kenneth Coster
Mpumelelo Nxumalo

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Construction / Project Development

We assist clients with:

  • drafting and negotiating all forms of contractual documents, including FIDIC, NEC and JBCC
  • drafting bespoke / project specific agreements
  • drafting development leases
  • advising on applicable legislation including the Construction Regulations of 2014
  • advising on legal aspects of contract administration including engineering and construction claims
  • undertaking risk assessments on engineering and construction type contracts
  • advising on the allocation of risk
  • drafting project agreements, which include off-take agreement, O&M and EPC contracts
  • advising on insurance and coverage
  • undertaking dispute resolution and litigation


Key Contacts:

Alessandra Pardini
Andrew Van Niekerk
Deirdre Simaan
Tyron Theessen

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Employment & Employee Benefits

Employment

We assist clients with:

  • strategic advice relating to collective bargaining issues
  • advice in respect of industrial action both protected and unprotected
  • employment disputes in all employment tribunals (including the CCMA, the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council and other Bargaining Councils, and in the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court)
  • evictions
  • executive and lower level employment contracts
  • discrimination litigation / employment equity
  • employment policies and procedures
  • employee benefits (retirement funding and medical aid schemes)


Employee Benefits

Our services include:

  • advising clients regarding the setting up of retirement funding, the administration and regulation of retirements funds and compliance with the Pension Funds Act and Regulations
  • advising on medical aid schemes and compliance with rules and relevant legislation
  • dealing with disputes referred to the Pension Fund Adjudicator and other relevant statutory bodies
  • advising on employment benefits such as group life and disability benefits and the handling of claims
  • advising on the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act and the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act
  • training in respect of retirement funding and employee benefits


Key Contacts:

Johan Olivier
Eugene Phajane
Dhevarsha Ramjettan
Mpumelelo Nxumalo
Sherisa Rajah

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Public Interest

We have a dedicated Pro Bono Practice.

Our experience with pro bono work provides a solid base for us to provide advice on implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We service a range of clients including civil society, public benefit organisations, non-governmental organisations, rural and urban communities and corporates in relation to a diversity of public interest issues.

Our team has extensive experience with:

  • the UN guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • advising on public consultation processes
  • researching foreign legislation in terms of human rights compliance
  • advising on fundamental human rights, including the rights to equality, dignity, housing and privacy as well as social, cultural and economic rights
  • asserting the rights of traditional leaders using customary law
  • using litigation to promote and defend aboriginal rights and land reform
  • protecting and promoting economic justice for the poor and disempowered


Key Contacts:

Asmita Thakor
Ayanda Khumalo
Moray Hathorn
Odette Geldenhuys
Pooja Dela
Tshego Phala

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Finance

Project Finance

We assist clients with:

  • legal due diligence, including project risk assessments
  • project development advice (to Government and private sector clients)
  • drafting tender documents (for Government and private sector clients)
  • advising on South African law security structures and creating special purpose vehicles to hold security
  • drafting security agreements, which include security cessions, bonds, guarantees, subordination agreements and pledges and cession agreements
  • drafting finance agreements, which include loan agreements, common terms agreements, inter-creditor agreements and direct agreements
  • advising on sponsor related issues and drafting sponsor related agreements, including sponsor support agreements, non-enforcement agreements and shareholder retention agreements
  • advising on project structure and bankability issues
  • negotiating finance, security and project agreements
  • drafting legal opinions pertaining to the enforceability of agreements and power, capacity and authority of the signatories to those agreements


Banking & Finance

We assist clients with:

  • debt capital markets
  • the negotiation of facilities
  • the granting of security


Key Contacts:

Kathy Shepherd

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Dispute Resolution

We assist clients with:

  • corporate governance issues
  • corporate disputes
  • class, group and multi-party actions
  • international and domestic commercial arbitration and mediation
  • constitutional and administrative law including disputes with industry regulators
  • disputes involving pension funds
  • disputes relating to black economic empowerment and Indigenisation transactions
  • consumer protection and product liability
  • anti-dumping
  • financial distress, restructuring and recovery law


Key Contacts:

Lara Khan
Phila Vanda
Priyesh Daya
Selwyn Hockey
Stuart McCafferty
Trevor Versfeld

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Competition / Anti-Trust

We assist clients with:

  • mergers (assessing whether notifications are required and preparing notifications)
  • behavioural work (abuse of dominance, horizontal and vertical agreements)
  • compliance (policies, programmes, training and reviews)
  • exemption applications
  • competition / anti-trust advisory work


Key Contacts:

Lesley Morphet
Nkonzo Hlatshwayo

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