Latham & Watkins and Allen & Overy have the lead roles on a $7.2 billion loan to the Roy Hill iron ore mining project, the largest-ever financing in the mining sector.
The new loan comes on top of previous funding of around $3 billion to develop an iron ore mine in Western Australia, which is expected to begin production in 2015. The project is 70 percent controlled by Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd., the mining company owned by tycoon Georgina Rinehart. The remainder is owned by a consortium of leading Asian steel companies including Korea’s POSCO, Japan’s Marubeni Corp. and Taiwan’s China Steel Corp.
Part of the financing came from export credit agencies including Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Trade Insurance Corp., Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and Export-Import Bank of the United States. The rest of the money came from 19 commercial banks from Australia, Japan, Europe, China, Korea and Singapore.
Singapore managing partner Stephen McWilliams and project financing partner Andrew Roche led a team at Latham & Watkins advising Roy Hill as international counsel. Herbert Smith Freehills Perth partner David Walton acted for the company as Australian counsel.*
Allen & Overy advised the lenders as both Australian and international counsel with a team led by Sydney partners Adam Stapledon and Chris Rushton and also including Tokyo partner Matthias Voss and Washington, D.C., partners David Slade and Greg Smith.
*Updated, 3/21/14, 4:09pm: This story has been updated to include the role of Herbert Smith Freehills Perth partner David Walton as Australian counsel to Roy Hill.