Mining Prospects

Trends and Developments in Mining Law in Canada and Internationally

McCarthy Tétrault releases fourth annual Mining in the Courts

Posted in Litigation, Mining

McCarthy Tétrault has released the fourth edition of its annual publication Mining in the Courts, Year in Review. The publication provides an overview of recent legal developments and key Canadian case law affecting the mining sector in 2013. It also offers perspective and insights on issues important to the industry.

Read more about this year’s edition.

Download a copy.

Patent Law Year in Review: Oil and Gas (2013)

Posted in Mining, Project Development, Commercial Arrangements and Agreements
Timothy EllamSteven Tanner

The following article may be of interest to readers of this blog: Patent Law Year in Review: Oil and Gas (2013)

In 2013 the Federal Court experienced a surge in patent infringement actions. Whereas 48 patent infringement actions were filed in 2012, that number rose to 101 in 2013.[1] Part of that increase came about because of growth in the oil and gas patent infringement sector. Put simply, oil and gas companies were more aggressive at enforcing their patent rights in 2013. Read More.

BC First Nations’ nuisance action against industry dismissed, on the basis of unproven Aboriginal rights and title: Thomas v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.

Posted in Aboriginal and Environmental Issues, M&A, Mining
Sam AdkinsStephanie Axmann

The decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia (the “BCSC”) in Thomas v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., 2013 BCSC 2303 (Thomas) has implications for Aboriginal groups seeking damages or injunctive relief against private third party operations. In the December 13, 2013 decision, the BCSC confirmed that asserted but unproven Aboriginal rights and title are not sufficient interests in British Columbia to base a claim in nuisance (a common law tort for damages against property); such rights must be recognized or proven. Thomas also reaffirms the longstanding principle that the Crown, rather than a private third party, is the appropriate adversary to respond to claims of Aboriginal rights and title. In addition, Thomas notes limits of the defence of statutory authorization, providing a cautionary lesson for industry actors whose operations, while permitted at law, may nevertheless result in adverse impacts to others. Continue Reading

McCarthy Tétrault launches Canadian Class Actions Monitor blog

Posted in Awards and Recognitions

For those who may be interested, McCarthy Tétrault has just launched its eleventh blog, Canadian Class Actions Monitor, at The blog provides the firm’s views on class actions across Canada in sectors including securities, financial services, product liability, competition, healthcare and other areas of business. It also comments on the impact of class actions on Canadian businesses and the legal landscape, and shares our insights on specific class actions in Canada, related developments and cross-border influences

Please visit the blog!

Canadian Appeals Monitor wins Clawbie

Posted in Awards and Recognitions

We are delighted to share that McCarthy Tétrault’s Canadian Appeals Monitor blog has received a 2013 Clawbie (Canadian Law Blog Award) in the Practice Group Blog category, for its overall excellence in covering Canada’s appellate courts and cases.

2013 Canadian Law Blog Awards WinnerCanadian Appeals Monitor is one of McCarthy Tétrault’s 10 blogs covering a variety of practice areas. The Clawbies highlight in particular “This Week at the SCC” as “a strong regular contribution” that “really does take a national firm to pull off.”

We are also very proud of our partner Barry Sookman, whose eponymous Barry Sookman blog was a runner-up in the Clawbies’ Legal Technology category. Barry is the former co-chair of McCarthy Tétrault’s Technology Group and former head of its Intellectual Property Group, and is one of Canada’s foremost authorities in information technology and intellectual property law. He uses his blog to share his views on a wide range of copyright, Internet and information technology issues.

We look forward to more great blogging in 2014!

Canadian Subsidiaries Beware? The Ontario Court of Appeal Addresses the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Against Related Entities

Posted in Mining

The following Canadian Appeals Monitor blog post by Hovsep Afarian and Anu Koshal may be of interest to readers of this blog:

Canadian Subsidiaries Beware? The Ontario Court of Appeal Addresses the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Against Related Entities

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758, has important implications for both foreign mining corporations and their Canadian subsidiaries.  The decision clarifies the test by which Ontario courts will enforce foreign judgments, and allows enforcement actions to proceed in Ontario where the only hope of recovery is from the Canadian subsidiary of the foreign corporation.

The case stems from a long-running legal battle between Chevron US, one of the world’s largest companies, and the indigenous peoples of the Sucumbíos and Orellana provinces in Ecuador.  The Ecuadorians sued Chevron US in Ecuador in 2011, alleging that between 1972 and 1990, Texaco (which Chevron US acquired in 2001) engaged in commercial activities that caused significant environmental damage to the indigenous peoples’ lands, waterways, and way of life.  Chevron US was found liable for $18 billion, an amount later reduced on appeal to $9.1 billion.  Chevron refused to pay the award, contending that the judgment was obtained through fraud, bribery, and other illegal means.  Since Chevron US no longer has assets in Ecuador, and since US courts have been sympathetic to Chevron’s allegations of fraud against the Ecuadorian court, the Ecuadorians sought to have the judgment recognized and enforced in Ontario against Chevron Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron US which had no involvement in the initial judgment. Read more

New Quebec “Mining Act” Bill Adopted

Posted in Mining
Daniel BénayPierre BoivinCamille De LarochelliereMarc-Alexandre HudonGrégory LarroqueMax Thelonious RoganJacob Stone

The following article may be of interest to readers of this blog: New Quebec Mining Act Bill Adopted

The latest attempt to amend the Quebec Mining Act, also known as Bill 70, was adopted earlier today by the Quebec National Assembly. Tabled just last Thursday, December 5, 2013, by Quebec Minister of Natural Resources Martine Ouellet, Bill 70 was subjected yesterday to a special parliamentary closure rule. This rule, agreed to by the governing Parti Québécois and the opposition party, Coalition de l’Avenir du Québec, essentially limited the length of debate over Bill 70 and fast-tracked its adoption. Read more.


Québec Tables Another Bill to Amend the Mining Act

Posted in Aboriginal and Environmental Issues, Mining
Daniel BénayGrégory LarroqueMarc-Alexandre HudonMax Thelonious RoganJacob Stone

On Thursday, December 5, 2013, Martine Ouellet, the Québec Minister of Natural Resources, tabled Bill no. 70 entitled An Act to amend the Mining Act. The fourth and latest installment in a long line of attempts to reform Québec’s mining legislation, unlike its predecessor Bill no. 43, Bill no. 70 would make amendments to the current Mining Act rather than replace it completely. Interestingly, Bill no. 70, as was the case in Bill no. 43, contains a preamble that explains the reasons and the objectives upon which the amended Mining Act is based.

Continue Reading

Last Directors Standing: Expanding the Scope of Directors’ and Officers’ Environmental Liability in the Northstar Aerospace Case

Posted in Aboriginal and Environmental Issues, Corporate Governance and Continuous Disclosure, Litigation, Mining

The following article by Kimberly Howard and Selina Lee-Andersen may be of interest to readers of this blog:

Last Directors Standing: Expanding the Scope of Directors’ and Officers’ Environmental Liability in the Northstar Aerospace Case

In the recent case of Baker et al. v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, a number of former directors and officers of Northstar Aerospace, Inc. (Northstar) and its parent Northstar Aerospace (Canada) Inc. (Northstar Canada) found themselves as the last line of defence between Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and a contaminated property located at the site of the now insolvent company’s former manufacturing and processing facility in Cambridge, Ontario (Site). Read more.