A South African mining law team, led by Herbert Smith Freehills’ Johannesburg partner and Africa cochair Peter Leon, has advised Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources on implementing regulations and guidelines supporting the recently promulgated New Mining Investment Law, 2020, which came into effect this month.
The mineral law reform programme forms part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme as part of a framework which would accelerate foreign investment in the mining sector. This, in turn, would support Vision 2030’s objective of diversifying the Saudi economy.
Herbert Smith Freehills has been involved in three phases of the project, including providing advice on international best practice in the mining sector; drafting the full suite of regulations to supplement the New Law and preparing the different sets of guidelines, which will complement the regulations.
The matter involved advising on a broad range of aspects critical to the successful implementation of legislation across the sector, including the establishment of a national geological database and online mining cadastre, the application procedures for obtaining exploration, mining and related licences, minimum mandatory requirements to prevent or minimise environmental degradation, pollution or adverse impacts on host communities, financial incentives for investors as well as the fiscal regime, dispute resolution and mine closure.
Leon led the team who advised the ministry, and was supported by director Patrick Leyden, environmental consultant Justine Sweet, associates Ernst Müller, Sarah Burman, Mandy Hattingh, Jenalee Harrison, Phathu Rambau and candidate attorneys Natasha Rachwal and Matt Purves.
Global head of tax Isaac Zailer and Perminder Gainda advised on the fiscal regime.
The firm advises the Ministry alongside Saudi law firm Dr. Al-Sgaih and Partners.