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Mineral and Oil and Gas Property

The lawyers of Davis Wright Tremaine’s environmental and real property practice groups have extensive experience assisting clients in obtaining, maintaining, transferring, and securing interests in mineral properties.

Our clients include large operating mines, projects in the exploration and development phases, investors, mining joint ventures, mineral property holders, oil and gas companies, taxable and tax-exempt investors (including pension funds, state sovereign funds, private equity investors, and financial institutions), developers, real estate investment advisors, fund sponsors, real estate operating companies, lenders, and hotel operators.

We assist our clients on a full range of matters, including:

  • State and federal mining claims
  • Public mineral leases
  • Private mineral leaseholds
  • Surface use agreements
  • Oil and gas leases
  • Land use permits
  • Due diligence, tax matters, and transactional work
  • Counseling on regulatory requirements
  • Defense against government enforcement actions

We have worked with many clients in the mineral industry, from the very largest global mining and petroleum companies to small local exploration ventures. Their projects have involved petroleum resources, coal, zinc, copper, iron, uranium, geothermal, rare earths, and gold. In a heavily regulated business, we help our clients get in compliance with requirements—and stay in compliance, even as operations and requirements change.

Our work has also included:

  • Analysis of validity and title of mining claims, and cure of defects
  • Maintenance of annual claim obligations including affidavits of labor, rent payment procedures, and related filing and recording obligations
  • Transfer of mining properties and interests in mining properties, including the drafting of mineral leases
  • Providing instruments for security interests in oil and gas leases
  • Representing oil and gas leaseholders in disputes regarding the operation of unitized production fields and rights of overriding interest holders
  • Representing parties in obtaining administrative issuance and transfer of mineral leases
  • Representing clients in purchasing and obtaining judicial clear title to patented mining claims
  • Analyzing and resolving issues raised by foreign entity purchase of U.S. mineral properties
  • Assisting in auxiliary transactions such as drilling contracts, equipment purchase and leasing, mining construction contracts and disputes, and permitting