Extractive Industries: Mining & Mineral Processing, Oil & Gas

Mining and Mineral Processing

More than 30 years of experience representing mining industry clients, in the field and around the world.


Global demand for energy and natural resources is on the rise, but so is the focus on emission-reduction, conserving resources, and lower-carbon intensive products. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has the experience to guide clients in developing and implementing innovative results-based approaches for attaining sustainability and fulfilling economic goals in the energy transition, including in extractive industries.

Our extractive industries team has mining and mineral and oil and gas experience in the US and around the globe, from Africa and Asia to Latin America and the Middle East. Drawing on more than a century of broad-based energy practice—encompassing both the energy evolution and traditional energy sources—we counsel clients on how to approach, address, and respond to government oversight; efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and plaintiffs’ counsel to increase stringency of regulatory standards, block new projects, or stall existing operations; and litigation relating to alleged environmental damage, toxic torts, and similar claims.

Mining & Mineral Processing

Many traditional energy replacements require earth minerals and precious metals—such as boron, lithium, cobalt, nickel, gold, and platinum—mined from countries across the world prior to use in decarbonizing the electric grid in renewable power sources like wind turbines and climate-friendlier consumer products like electric vehicles. For more than 30 years, we have represented domestic and international companies and industry associations in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Africa engaged in the extraction of materials including cobalt, copper, phosphates, zinc, and other minerals and metals.

We also represent clients in the construction and building materials industries whose products—including crushed stone, sand, and gravel—are the literal building blocks of cities, along with producers of downstream products including cement, concrete, and asphalt. And we counsel mining enterprises and chemical companies whose products—such as sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and ammonia—are key ingredients in the processing of minerals, ores, and other natural resources like crude oil and natural gas, and in the production of commodities critical to the global economy including energy generation, electronics & electrical transmission, and chemical fertilizers and crop protection products.

No matter the type of mineral, we help mining industry clients with exploration, development, and reclamation, and handle related transactions.

How We Help Clients

Our extractive industries team is global and cross-practice, and includes attorneys with experience in permitting, environmental, energy and infrastructure, corporate and finance, international arbitration, and insurance law, and more. With an eye toward the long-term effects of each decision, we advise clients at every step of the product lifecycle, from mining and processing to distribution and marketing.

Whether the context is mineral, metal, oil, or gas extraction, we assess environmental and toxic tort legal exposure internationally, interface with local counsel in foreign jurisdictions to pursue necessary governmental approvals, and defend any ensuing litigation or enforcement proceedings. We represent clients on compliance and permitting and in litigation relating to federal energy and mineral resource related laws, statutes, regulations, and policies, such as the Mining Law of 1872, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), Materials Act of 1947, Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA), Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), as well as the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service Surface Management Regulations and the National Park Service’s Mining in the Parks Act—and environmental related statutes, such as the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). We also have experience with state mining and reclamation programs, including the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA).

We obtain local, state, and federal approvals for quarries, surface mines, underground mines, mining-related land uses and infrastructure, sand and gravel pits, and precious metals mines on private and public lands throughout the US. In the area of permitting, we counsel clients to build a record capable of withstanding future challenges under a broad range of laws, regulations, treaties, and standards impacting their domestic and international operations. We provide comprehensive counsel on import and export issues related to cross-border resource development that affect the movement of materials across borders and overseas, from construction and permitting of processing facilities and distribution terminals to compliance with inland and coastal waterways protections. In the western US, for example, we counsel clients on tribal law where operations and facilities are located on Indian lands.

Our natural resources real estate team provides guidance to mining and mineral businesses, handling issues regarding development of production and distribution facilities, from construction, interconnection, and power purchase agreements; to assistance with permits, zoning approvals, and other entitlements; to operations commencement following negotiation of surface and mineral leases, easements, licenses, operating agreements, supply agreements, and transportation agreements; to site closure and reclamation. We draw on experience and relationships with federal and state agencies to help clients work with regulators, while providing creative solutions and asset-maximization.

Our environmental lawyers work closely with the firm’s corporate and finance attorneys to provide comprehensive due diligence services for large-scale development and transactional projects, and to structure and negotiate the terms of M&A deals, project finance, debt finance, and other lending transactions with banks, investors, and creditors.

Our international arbitration and transnational litigation practice represents clients around the globe, advising mining and oil companies in all stages of the arbitration process and in arbitration and court proceedings.

Our insurance coverage attorneys have experience handling environmental insurance matters for energy companies and joint ventures, including in extractive industries—through policy placements and renewals, investigations, litigation, arbitration, mediation, settlements, and appeals.

And whether from counterparties, individuals, NGOs, domestic or international plaintiffs’ counsel, state agencies and attorneys general, federal agencies, or the US Department of Justice, we draw on our skilled trial and appellate lawyers, and a network of technical, governmental affairs, public and media relations, and local counsel, to mount a strong defense of our clients’ interests. We have argued cases from coast to coast and at every level of federal and state trial and appellate courts, and in key global mining jurisdictions internationally.


With more than 100 environmental, corporate, project finance, international arbitration, litigation, insurance, regulatory, and tax partners practicing from our offices across the US and in Europe and Asia, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is consistently ranked by leading legal and industry publications such as Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and Legal 500. For example, we were named the 2017 and 2021 Chambers USA Environment Law Firm of the Year and designated an Environmental Practice Group of the Year by Law360 in 2012-2022. Our environmental practice, and many of our lawyers, are ranked Band 1 nationally by Chambers USA and Chambers Global.




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