Category: Natural Resources

SEC Staff Provides Welcome Guidance to Resource Extraction Issuers

As discussed in our January 10, 2024 webinar, new SEC rules require resource extraction issuers that file reports with the SEC to file a Form SD within 270 days after each fiscal year end to report their payments to the U.S. federal government and foreign governments. An issuer’s initial filing deadline in 2024 will therefore depend upon its fiscal year end, with reports from many companies already due, and others’ deadlines fast approaching. For an issuer with a December 31 fiscal year end, the Form SD will be due no later than September 26, 2024. In informal discussions, the SEC’s staff has provided our firm with welcome guidance on a number of related...

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Dorsey’s Mining Practice Group and Attorneys Recognized in Chambers Global 2024

Dorsey’s Mining & Metals practice area and three mining partners, the most lawyers of any U.S. law firm, received a Band 1 recognition by Chambers and Partners in its Chambers Global 2024. The recognized attorneys from Dorsey’s Canada Cross-Border practice group include Kimberley Anderson, Chris Doerksen and Wells Parker – just in time for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention! The Chambers Global Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms in over 200 jurisdictions across the world. Each ranking is based on Chambers’ in-depth research conducted by its dedicated and experienced team of researchers. It annually collects hundreds of thousands of responses from clients. Learn more about Dorsey’s Mining practice...

Interagency Working Group on Mining Laws, Regulations, and Permitting Release Final Report on Proposed U.S. Mining Reforms on Public Lands

In the Fall of 2023, the Interagency Working Group on Mining Laws, Regulations, and Permitting (“IWG”) released its final report containing recommendations to reform how mining is conducted on public lands (the “Final Report”). The IWG was formed to convene experts across various agencies and receive input from the public in order to assess the adequacy of the existing regulatory scheme governing domestic hardrock mining, and to determine whether changes to that scheme were necessary to satisfy the goals set forth in the E.O. 14017 100-Day reviews. 87 Fed. Reg. 18811 (Mar. 31, 2022). The Final Report included a range of recommendations, including those which would require legislative action by Congress, those which...

Mining Companies Subject To The SEC’S Subpart 1300 Of Regulation S-K Should Prepare Now For Next Year’s Annual Report

In 2022, many SEC reporting companies with mineral resource assets completed their inaugural SEC annual report on Form 10-K or 20-F subject to the SEC’s mining disclosure rules in subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K (“subpart 1300”), and filed their inaugural subpart 1300 technical report summaries, if applicable. As 2023’s annual reporting season approaches, we outline for our readers some important factors to consider in preparing for Year 2 of subpart 1300 compliance.  Depending on the situation, an issuer may need to begin its preparations well in advance of its fiscal year end (“FYE”), or risk being in default of its reporting requirements. Overview Subpart 1300 requires an issuer with material mining assets that...

Mining Companies: Don’t Let Your QP Refuse to Provide Required SEC Consents

We are seeing a significant increase in cases where a qualified person (QP) or related engineering firm has prepared a technical report or other required disclosure for a mining company, but then resisted, or outright refused, to provide the written consent that the mining company is required to obtain in order to be permitted to disclose the name of the QP and the conclusions of the QP in a prospectus that forms part of an SEC registration statement for a public offering or for the mining company’s annual report that is filed with the SEC.  This can be costly and damaging to the mining company, because it may put the company in a...

SEC Clarifies the Compliance Deadline for New Mining Disclosure Rules

On April 29, 2020, the SEC issued new Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations (the “New C&DIs”) that clarified the compliance deadline for many mining companies that file with the SEC on non-MJDS forms such as Form 10-K or Form 20-F to comply with the SEC’s new mining disclosure rules in Subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K. The New C&DIs follow closely on the heels of the National Mining Association having submitted a letter on April 24, 2020, to the SEC’s Chairman, Jay Clayton, requesting a one-year delay in the Subpart 1300 compliance deadline in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SEC’s adopting release for Subpart 1300 on October 31, 2018, had required that mining companies...

Trump Administration Proposes Revisions to Streamline Environmental Review Process under National Environmental Policy Act

For many mining and infrastructure projects in the United States, a primary cause of permitting uncertainty, expense, and delay is compliance with the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). On January 10, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) proposed comprehensive revisions to the regulations implementing the NEPA. 85 Fed. Reg. 1684. NEPA documentation is generally required for any project, public or private, that requires approvals from the federal government. The proposed revisions to the NEPA regulations are part of the Trump administration’s efforts to streamline their NEPA review processes. The proposed regulatory revisions include the following changes, among others: More Exemptions from NEPA Review – The proposed rules...

What Mining Companies Need to Accomplish Before 2021

In November 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted new mining disclosure standards applicable to all SEC reporting companies, except those that report exclusively under the Multijurisdictional Disclosure System (MJDS). While the new rules will not take effect until 2021, that date is quickly approaching. Mining and mineral royalty companies should brook no further delay in their preparations. Below are a few of the important steps to get ready to comply with the new standards: Determining whether the company must or should comply with the SEC’s new requirements.  Does the company file a Form 20-F or Form 10-K annual report with the SEC? If the company files on MJDS Form 40-F,...

Upcoming Webinar on the SEC’s New Mining Disclosure Rules – 2/26

You are invited to join us on February 26, 2019, at 11 am PT/2 pm ET, for a webinar discussing the SEC’s new mining disclosure rules. On October 31, 2018, the SEC adopted final rules effecting a complete overhaul of the technical disclosure requirements applicable to companies engaged in material mining operations, including royalties. Upon effectiveness in 2021, the new rules will replace the SEC’s decades-old guidelines, set forth in Industry Guide 7. The new rules will bring the U.S. reporting regime closer to global reporting standards, and will apply to all SEC reporting companies except those that report exclusively under the Canada-U.S. MJDS system. We will be providing an overview of the new...

Clarifying “Muddy Waters:” EPA and Army Corps Propose Revisions to the Scope of CWA Jurisdiction

Canadian companies interested in cross-border natural resource projects should be aware of a regulatory development in the United States that significantly revises the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act. On December 11, 2018, two federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, proposed a new rule dramatically altering federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) by redefining what constitutes a “water of the United States.” If enacted, the new rule proposes to limit and simplify the CWA’s jurisdictional analysis and provide regulatory certainty for resource development projects. Canadian companies with, or interested in, a cross-border project should follow, and consider participating, in the rule’s 60-day...