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Distressed Mining

Distressed Mining
Distressed Mining

The Blakes Distressed Mining group leverages experience and geographic scope to deliver tailored strategies for our clients managing distressed mining assets around the world. With our integrated network of offices, we assist distressed domestic mining companies with their mining business and properties within Canada and abroad, and international mining companies with their mining projects and investments located in Canada.
We work closely with our multidisciplinary mining team to deliver fully integrated advice to clients across Canada. Our national team also works collaboratively with U.S. and international law firms on multijurisdictional matters to ensure our common clients receive the highest quality of service in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner. Through creative problem-solving, we identify strategic solutions and maximize value for our clients as they navigate complex multinational restructuring regimes and a variety of different restructuring and distressed sale structures, both in and out of court.

Our clients include a full range of stakeholders affected by distressed mining situations, including debtors, lenders, purchasers, equity holders and other major stakeholders, as well as court officers appointed in formal insolvency proceedings such as monitors, receivers and trustees. Our Restructuring & Insolvency lawyers are recognized leaders within Canada and internationally for their expertise in domestic and cross-border insolvency matters generally.

Recent Experience
  • Dominion Diamond Mines Group (diamonds) – Counsel to Dominion Diamond in their restructuring proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) (CCAA). Dominion Diamond is Canada’s largest independent diamond producer and the second-largest non-governmental employer in the Northwest Territories, with ownership interests in two operating diamond mines: Ekati and Diavik.

  • Lydian International Group (gold) – Counsel to a senior secured lender in the CCAA restructuring proceedings of Lydian. Lydian owns the Amulsar gold mine project in Armenia. After an unsuccessful sale process, a plan of compromise and arrangement was implemented that resulted in the senior secured lenders owning and controlling the project through a restructured Lydian Canada and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, including its U.K. and Armenian subsidiaries.

  • Bloom Lake Group and Wabush Group (iron ore) – Counsel to the debtors in their restructuring proceedings under the CCAA. Prior to being idled, the Bloom Lake Mine located in Quebec, which was majority-owned by the Bloom Lake Group, was the fifth-largest iron ore exporting basin in the world. In addition, the debtors owned the Wabush/Scully Mine in Newfoundland and Labrador and a port facility in Quebec, all of which have been sold as part of a successful restructuring that culminated in a CCAA plan of compromise and arrangement that implemented a settlement of significant pension and employee claims.

  • Great Basin Gold Group (gold) – Counsel to the debtor-in-possession (DIP) lenders and secured lenders in the restructuring of Great Basin, an international gold mining company with two emerging mines in the world’s richest gold regions: Hollister in the Carlin Trend, Nevada, and Burnstone in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa. This complex multi-jurisdictional restructuring involved formal insolvency proceedings commenced in Canada (CCAA and court receivership), the U.S. (Chapter 11) and South Africa (Business Rescue).

  • RB Energy Group (lithium and iodine) – Counsel to RB Energy in its CCAA restructuring proceedings, with assets that include an iodine mine located in Chile and a fully constructed lithium mine and processing facility in Quebec. The DIP lender ultimately realized on and sold the assets subject to its court-ordered security.

  • Grande Cache Coal (coal) – Counsel to the secured lender in the receivership of Grande Cache Coal LP and Grande Cache Coal Corp. in respect of coal mines in Alberta. A receivership order was granted over a competing CCAA application by the debtor companies.

  • Colossus Minerals Inc. (gold/platinum) – Counsel to the DIP lender and pre-filing secured lender to Colossus in proposal proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada). Colossus’ primary asset was its interests in the Serra Pelada gold-platinum-palladium project in Brazil. Colossus successfully restructured with a debt to equity exchange.

  • Northern Star Mining Corp and Jake Resources Inc. (gold) – Counsel to the secured lender to Northern Star  and Jake Resources in their bankruptcy and receivership proceedings. The Quebec Court of Appeal considered whether a royalty interest could be enforceable against a purchaser in a sale by a court receiver.

  • Tagish Lake Gold Corp. (gold) – Counsel to the purchaser of Tagish in a competitive take-over bid implemented during Tagish’s CCAA proceedings. Tagish owns the Tagish Lake gold project in Whitehorse, Yukon.

  •  United Silver Corp. (silver) – Counsel to the court-appointed receiver of United Silver Corporation, with mining assets in Idaho.

Awards & Recognition

Members of our Distressed Mining group are recognized as leaders in the most recent editions of the following prominent national and international industry directories and rankings:

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • Who’s Who Legal

  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers in Banking, Finance and Transactional Law

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada

  • The Legal 500 Canada