Mining Industry Restructuring

As the sources of demand, supply and financing of mineral development projects have changed, so has the structure of the industry. State-owned monopolies have given way to a competitive, private sector led mining industry in many (but by no means all) developing countries around the world. In addition to assisting national governments in developing legislation and regulations that embrace such change and channel it in constructive directions, Duncan & Allen has assisted in the restructuring of the formerly state-owned mining industry.

In 2005 and 2006, Duncan & Allen conducted an in-depth evaluation of the existing mining joint-venture agreements of the state-owned copper and cobalt mining company in the DRC, Gécamines. The Firm’s goal was to advise the new management team of Gécamines on how to maximize or improve the company’s contractual rights under existing joint venture agreements entered into during a period of political transition. For Gécamines’ use in the negotiation of new ventures, Duncan & Allen drafted a model mineral lease agreement ("convention d’amodiation") and a model request for proposals.

In addition, the Firm advised on the restructuring of Gécamines and recommended the reorganization of its asset management and a corporate structure best suited to its changing role in development of the DRC copper sector, while strengthening Gécamines’ legal capacity. Work on the re-positioning and restructuring of Gécamines in the DRC is ongoing.

In 2010, we advised the DRC country office of the World Bank on perfecting a strategy for the restructuring of state-owned enterprises in the DRC into commercial companies with private participation in ownership and management. The project involved a particular emphasis on the mining sector, a key strategic industry in the DRC. As part of this project, we led an integrated legal and business team including a financial consultant and a DRC law firm.