Rafael Vergara


+56 2 2928 2210

Partner of Carey and co-head of the firm's Natural Resources and Environment Group. His practice focuses on natural resources, mining, water rights, energy, environment, surface lands, project financing, and corporate and commercial law.


  • Tianqi Lithium Corporation on the acquisition of a 24% stake of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) for USD4.066 billion. 62.6 million Class A shares in SQM were awarded to a Tianqi affiliate in an auction conducted at the Santiago Stock Exchange (SSE), making it the largest transaction in the history of the SSE.
  • Minera Mantos de Oro, a subsidiary of Kinross Gold, on the acquisition of the mining concessions held jointly with Cominor in the La Coipa gold and silver mine. Mantos de Oro took full ownership of the assets by creating a spin-off of their joint venture, which subsequently bought from Cominor.
  • Teck Resources on the acquisition of an additional 13.5% participation of Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca (QB) through the purchase of Inversiones Mineras, a private Chilean company, part of the Hurtado group. The acquisition left Teck with a 90% of participation in QB, and ENAMI, a Chilean state-owned company, with a 10% preferential participation.
  • Teck Quebrada Blanca on the expansion of its hypogene project for USD6.2 billion, specifically on the mining legal easements trials against the State of Chile to obtain the necessary rights to use the surface land for the expansion and for the new facilities.
  • Kinross on the corporate restructuring of its mining assets, on strategies referring to relocation of easements, and on legal implications related to the possible exploitation of new orebodies close to Copiapó.
  • Kinross on a litigation case against GoldFields regarding a mining concessions dispute.
  • Teck Carmen de Andacollo, a Chilean subsidiary of Teck Resources, on the execution of a Long-Term Offtake Agreement and a Streaming Agreement with different subsidiaries of Royal Gold.
  • Several Chilean companies of foreign capital regarding the sanctioning process for environmental violations before the Superintendence of Environment and the Environmental Court.
  • Several Chilean companies of foreign capital on processes related to the closing of mines.
  • Minera Valle Central on the financing of the construction and expansion of its plant for the processing, exploitation, extraction and transport of tailings on lands owned by División El Teniente from Codelco, located in the VI region of Chile, for approx. USD64 million.
  • Codelco on the judicial constitution of mining easements for its copper project Radomiro Tomic in the north of Chile.
  • KGHM on the acquisition of Quadra FNX Mining, a listed Canadian company, for approx. USD2.87 billion.
  • Quantum Pacific Exploration (QPX) on an agreement with an international mining company to finance an exploration program in northern Chile.


  • Recognized in Energy and Natural Resources: Mining, Chambers Latin America.
  • Recognized in Environment, Mining, Projects and Infrastructure, The Legal 500.
  • Recognized in Mining & Metals, Energy, Environment and in Project Finance and Infrastructure, Latin Lawyer 250.
  • Recognized in Banking and Finance, Project Development and Project Finance, IFLR1000.
  • Recognized in Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Project Finance and as Global Elite Thought Leader in Mining, Who’s Who Legal.
  • Recognized in Energy, LACCA.
  • Recognized in Mining, Environmental Law, Natural Resources, Project Finance and Development, Best Lawyers.
  • Recognized in Energy and Natural Resources, Environment, Infrastructure and Mining, Top Ranked Legal.
  • Elected Best Undergraduate Professor Award, Law School, Universidad de Chile.
  • Named Lawyer of the Year in Mining (2021), Natural Resources (2014, 2016 and 2019) and Energy (2015), Best Lawyers.
  • Winner in Natural Resources: Mining Category, Leading Lawyers, Idealis (2013 and 2015).


  • At-Large council member representative for Latin America, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
  • Trustee-at-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2012-2015).
  • Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de los Andes (since 2003).
  • Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de Chile (since 1996).
  • Member of the Chilean Bar Association and former advisor (2006-2011).
  • Visiting professor in several graduate studies and Master Degree Programs on Natural Resources Law at several Chilean Universities.
  • Member of the panel of arbitrators, Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago.
  • Member of the Legal Committee of the National Mining Association (SONAMI).
  • Member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
  • Member of the International Bar Association (IBA).
  • Member of the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
  • Chair of the Advisory Council of the World Association of Mining Lawyers (WAOML).
  • Member of the Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA).


  • Co-author of the Chilean chapter - Mining Practice Guide - Lexology, Getting the Deal Through (2019 and 2021).
  • Co-author of the Chilean chapter of Construction and Projects Q&As Global Guide, Thomson Reuters (2018-2020).
  • Author of the Chilean chapter on Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2010-2013).


  • Special courses on mining law for judges and members of the Courts of Appeals, organized by the Judiciary Academy of Chile.
  • Presented papers on Chilean mining, energy, natural resources regulations, environment and arbitration at numerous seminars, both in Chile and abroad.


  • Law, Universidad de Chile.
  • Academy of American and International Law, Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas, USA (1993).
  • Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard University (1997).


  • Chile (1987).


  • Spanish.
  • English.

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