Mining Law

Clark Hill’s Mining Team is comprised of first-rate attorneys with vast experience in all aspects of natural resource extraction operations and law. Our Team regularly handles a broad range of concerns to companies in the hardrock, metals, precious metals, coal, uranium, oil and gas sectors ranging from corporate structuring and transactions, to permitting, to the litigation of agency decisions, to regulatory compliance and enforcement defense. Our Team is also regularly present in the halls of state and federal jurisdictional government agencies as well as Congress, ensuring that decision-makers are aware of the unique challenges facing the natural resource extraction industry today, in addition to shaping regulatory and legislative initiatives and reform.

One aspect of Clark Hill’s Mining Team that places us among the best, is that the Team includes attorneys with specific and relevant experience from the highest ranks of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Justice, Natural Resources Division. Clark Hill knows both sides of the regulatory fence and is accomplished in defending against claims brought by non-government organizations to permitting and regulatory decisions. Furthermore our team members include attorneys from the firm’s Environment, Energy & Natural Resources; Corporate Law; Construction Law; Litigation; and Appellate practice groups. Our significant experience brought together from several practice areas, allows the Team to seamlessly work together to provide industry-leading client services.

Our attorneys have experience representing large international and domestic natural resource extraction companies, operators, joint ventures, prospective purchasers, manufacturers and distributors of related consumable and capital equipment, and national and state mining and oil and gas associations. Services provided include:

  • Federal and state permitting for hardrock, coal and uranium mining
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdictional determinations and Section 404/10 permits
  • National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 review and tribal and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation consultation
  • Regulatory compliance and enforcement defense counseling for natural resource extraction companies
  • Build defensible administrative record for agency decisions
  • Defend non-government organization challenges to permits under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act
  • Counseling on the Toxics Substance Control Act  and the Emergency Planning and Community
  • Right-to-Know Act
  • Advise on managing contaminated facilities under state and federal remediation and natural resource damage laws
  • Draft regulatory strategies for international and domestic hardrock and coal mining companies
  • Negotiate M&A and joint venture transactions
  • Complex due diligence projects
  • Mineral title examinations
  • Lobbying on regulatory reform, water rights, and proposed amendments to CERCLA the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act
  • Counseling on political law compliance

Experience

Defended coal mining company against claims for statutory violations, breach of implied contract/unjust enrichment, breach of contract, negligence, misrepresentation, unfair trade practices, trespass in property damage and subsidence actions by landowners

Successfully defended coal mining company in state court litigation by land owners, involving breach of contract, fraud and civil conspiracy claims in connection with lease disputes

Advising a multinational mining products manufacturer on the restructuring of its global supply chain. 

Defended coal mining company in state court litigation by land owners, involving breach of contract, fraud, and civil conspiracy claims, in connection with a coal lease and an oil and gas lease
Defended coal mining company against claims for violation of the Pennsylvania Bituminous Mine Subsidence Act, breach of implied contract / unjust enrichment, breach of contract, and trespass in property damage and subsidence actions by landowners

Represented a bank in connection with a credit facility, the proceeds of which were used for, among other things, the development and production of coal bed methane gas in connection with various coal bed methane gas leases entered into by the borrower. The credit facility was fully secured by blanket liens on all of the borrower's assets, including, but not limited to, leasehold mortgages with respect to the coal bed methane gas leases.

Defended coal mining company against claims for negligence, misrepresentation, and unfair trade practices in connection with various longwall mining activities
Pursued and defended claims on behalf of trustee of coal company's estate relating to coal supply agreement with large public utility

Represented a bank in the negotiation, documentation and closing of a revolving credit facility, a non-revolving credit facility and a term loan provided to a regional limestone mining company for refinance of existing indebtedness and working capital purposes. The credit facility is secured by: a blanket lien against all commercial personalty of the borrower (including as-extracted mineral inventory consisting of quarried limestone); and fee-simple and leasehold mortgage liens against all real estate of the borrower.