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Mining law

Our mining law specialists provide legal and commercial advice to mining and exploration companies seeking to develop New Zealand’s mineral, oil, and gas reserves.

Government support

The New Zealand Government wants to maximise the benefits from the development of mineral oil and gas resources. It acknowledges the need to attract more investors and explorers for aggressive large scale exploration and development of these resources.

Experienced mining law experts

With extensive mining law experience, we have acted for the New Zealand Government, state-owned enterprises, and private sector companies.

Our expertise has assisted projects involving coal, hard rock, oil and gas exploration and development, petrochemical electricity, and alternative energy (wind power).

We provide legal advice on:

  • Crown minerals regulatory regime
  • farm-in and farm-out agreements
  • joint venture operating agreements
  • permit application processes
  • project agreements
  • royalty and tax regimes
  • work programme issues. 

Recent experience

New Zealand’s second largest gold mining company

This client was attracted by our wealth of experience in joint venture operating agreements. We advised on its exploration and mining activities, including land access arrangements and the establishment of joint venture operating agreements that facilitated farm-out arrangements. Our client established joint venture operating agreements for its core commercial activities, which were more attractive to third party investors by way of farm-in arrangements.

Australian gold mining company

As a new entrant to New Zealand’s gold mining industry our client wanted to develop a portfolio of exploration permits to augment its Australian portfolio. We advised them on the establishment of New Zealand subsidiaries, permit issues, and liaising with New Zealand Petroleum and Mining. We also advised them on the formation of strategies on the local regulatory regime. The company was the subject of a successful initial public offering in Australia.

State Coal Mines

As a non-corporatised state-owned coal mining business, our client had a number of exploration and mining operations following its establishment as a state-owned enterprise under the State-owned Enterprises Act. It required a range of advice relating to the scope of its statutory powers and the engagement of contractors. We developed significant institutional knowledge of our client’s operations, which assisted the New Zealand Government to establish State Coal Mines as a state owned enterprise.

New Zealand Government

We acted on the establishment of state-owned Coal Corporation (now Solid Energy Limited) to promote, or not impede, competition in the markets it operated in. Our team reviewed the issues arising from the legislative regime and governing statutes, and advised on changes to the Coal Mines Act 1937 for the granting of permits. Coal Corporation was successfully established under the State-owned Enterprises Act 1986, on the same basis as a privately owned coal mining company.

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