Energy and Mining

Advised mining companies and lenders on all aspects of mining starting from prospecting and mining licences, negotiation and drawing of state/development agreements dealing with, amongst other things, fiscal stability provision, dispute resolution and operations and closure of a mine. The firm has further advised on land ownership in project areas including rights of a project company in respect of land over which a mining licence had been granted.

The firm has advised on local requirements on generation of electricity; connectivity issues; sale of surplus electricity generated to the state-owned power producing company. The firm has seen growth in this new area of activity over the past few years. Currently involved in advising IPPs on power generation issues.

Top Matters in Energy and Mining

  • We acted for Paladin Energy Limited of Australia, and Paladin Africa Limited, its subsidiary in Malawi (collectively referred to as (Paladin). We advised Paladin from the inception stages of the mining project, throughout their negotiations with the Malawi Government for the grant of a mining license and the terms of a development agreement entered into with the Government, construction of the mine up to commissioning of the mine, and thereafter operation of the mine and finally putting it under care and maintenance.
  • We advised on the local requirements on generation of electricity for Paladin’s mining requirements. It is also worth noting that in the early stages of their mining project Paladin did consider the possibility of generating electricity and selling the surplus to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi. We conducted an extensive due diligence which (outside of electricity production) further dealt with:
    • Land ownership in the project area including rights of the Paladin in respect of land over which the Mining License had been granted,
    • Landowners rights and minerals ownership,
    • Ownership rights in relation to any infrastructure built in the project area by Paladin;
    • Whether a lease or license over the project area could be granted by the State to Paladin
    • Constitutional rights or other recognised legal rights of landowners.
    • Compensation arrangements between landowners and Paladin, and
    • Medical, social services and other social responsibility obligations of Paladin under the project documents and Malawi law.
  • We continue to act, in conjunction with foreign lawyers on behalf of the client who seeks to be an Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Malawi. We are advising on all areas of law applicable to them including Malawi’s energy laws and regulations, laws relating to public procurement, construction, land and tax among others. We have, in addition to general corporate work and compliance for the project companies, reviewed, among others, the project finance agreements, Implementation Agreements, Framework Agreements and Power Purchase Agreements, among others. We have provided regulatory advice on all permits, authorisations, and licenses required for the commencement of construction and operation of a power plant in Malawi.