Freehills and Latham & Watkins have both worked on the deal involving Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, which has secured 30 per cent of the Roy Hill iron ore project from a consortium of Japanese and South Korean companies.
Freehills advised a consortium including POSCO, Marubeni and STX on the $3.2bn purchase of a 30 per cent stake in the project.
POSCO is currently the largest foreign investor in the Roy Hill project with a 15 per cent stake, while Marubeni and STX will own 12.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.
In a joint statement Friday, Posco, Marubeni and STX confirmed they have acquired a 30 per cent stake in the Roy Hill project from Hancock including rights to 16.5 million tons of iron ore offtake.
Law firm Latham & Watkins acted for Hancock in the deal.
Freehills said the offtake quantities are worth over $40bn at today's prices – making this an unprecedented commodity supply deal in terms of scale.
The Freehills team was lead by partners Shane Kyriakou and Lucy McCullagh, supported by Senior Associates Belinda Fan, Myra Stirling, Matthew Love, and Shaun Whittaker, as well as a large number of energy & resources, corporate and finance lawyers from the Freehills network.
"We have been working with the Consortium members for a number of years now, assisting them to pursue their goal of becoming investors in the development of high grade iron ore production,” said Kyriakou.
“Projects like Roy Hill are few and far between, and they are hard to do because everything in the iron ore sector is on a giant scale. For the Consortium to enter the sector through this investment is a great milestone for each of the companies involved. We are very proud to have been part of that."
The new business partners will now be tasked with raising up to A$7 billion in additional funding to ensure the 55-million ton-a-year mine is built along with port and rail infrastructure – the largest mining sector project financing yet attempted.
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