The Philippines is one of the world’s top mineral resource-endowed countries (mineral wealth is estimated by the Government as between $800 billion to $1 trillion, being ranked 1st in nickel, 2nd in gold, 3rd in copper and 6th in chromite worldwide). Unfortunately, mining has been perceived or experienced more of a curse rather than a blessing for many of the host communities in the Philippines where impoverishment, environmental degradation and conflict are still present-day realities. To help reverse the curse, the Firm’s mining practice remains at the forefront of change in the country’s mining industry. The Firm is carefully discerning in its acceptance of engagements to those socially-minded investors who share its advocacy for transformative mining. The Firm’s mining lawyers are deeply committed to serve the “Quadruple Bottom-line” of Profit, People, Planet and Providence (“4 Ps”). The harnessing of mineral resources must work towards the promotion of human dignity, respect for nature and the transformational development of mining’s direct and indirect stakeholders, particularly of affected indigenous cultural communities who regard their ancestral lands as sacred.
The Firm puts its in-depth knowledge of the socio-economic, cultural and political nuances affecting mining, its comprehensive understanding of the complex legal and regulatory regimes in a highly scrutinized environment and its extensive experience across the full life cycle of a mine at the service of its select clients. Through the Firm’s high-caliber and multi-dimensional assistance to its clients, it was successfully chosen as the winner of the Corporate Intl Magazine Global Award for “Natural Resources & Mining Law Firm of the Year in the Philippines” for various years.
The Firm’s mining industry expertise is complemented by its broad range of practice areas to ensure that we can help our clients overcome the various transactional, regulatory, compliance, litigation and stakeholder challenges unique to the ownership and development of mining projects in the Philippines.
The Firm has also acted for both domestic and foreign mining companies in their acquisition of the mining claims and rights covered by existing projects with the ultimate objective of rehabilitating and rendering these projects operational and productive. The Firm has rendered a broad range of services for these clients, including extensive due diligence; structuring their investments in the mining claims; negotiating and drafting the acquisition documents; and obtaining the social license for the rehabilitation and opening of the mining projects by coordinating and establishing ties with the affected local governments, indigenous peoples and small-scale miners, the police and military, and concerned non-governmental organizations and religious groups.
Chambers Asia describes the Firm as “highly regarded for its expertise in the energy and natural resources sectors, including advising a number of leading Filipino utilities suppliers and handles a variety of matters, including project finance and development work”. The Firm represents, among others, the country’s largest copper exporter and the world’s largest publicly-listed copper mining company.
Mr. Julito R. Sarmiento, who heads the Firm’s mining practice has been highly recommended by Chambers Asia as a leading lawyer in Natural Resources & Mining (amongst Asia’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2010 and Projects, Infrastructure and Energy in 2011 and 2015). Chambers Asia describes Mr. Sarmiento as a “highly reputed practitioner known for his mining and natural resources knowledge and also noted for his depth of knowledge in the area of indigenous peoples’ rights”.