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, ESG, surface lands, project finance, and corporate and commercial law.


  • Pan American Silver on the Chilean aspects of the acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Yamana Gold for USD4.8 billion. The operation included, from the Chilean perspective, the El Peñón and Minera Florida mining projects in Chile, and the granting of securities for the amendment of an existing credit agreement with Canadian financial institutions.
  • Nueva Unión, a subsidiary of Teck Resources and Newmont Goldcorp and one of the largest copper projects in Chile, on the implementation of a copper project for several billions of dollars. The advice included mining concessions, surface and environmental matters; and a lawsuit regarding the surface land where it is located.
  • Codelco on the implementation of its lithium project in the Maricunga salt flat, specifically regarding potential partners in the area and surface easements.
  • Aftermath Silver, a Canadian mining company, on the acquisition of Minera Cachinal, a gold and silver mine project, from Halo Labs (former Apotee Silver), SSR Mining and Silver Standard Ventures.
  • Melón on its defense regarding a claim for the constitution of mining easements over land owned by Melón and loaned to the borough of La Calera.
  • Codelco on the negotiation with Compañía Portuaria Mejillones and Terminal Graneles del Norte, as contractors, and on the drafting of a contract for the provision of comprehensive port services for the transfer of copper concentrates in containers from Codelco's northern divisions, through a port located in Mejillones, Antofagasta.
  • Osisko Bermuda on a definitive agreement with Mantos Copper, to modify its existing Silver Purchase Agreement with respect to 100% of the silver produced from the Mantos Blancos copper mine located in Chile. This stream transaction is part of a comprehensive USD225 million financing package entered into by Mantos Copper to expand the project’s sulphide concentrator plant.
  • Aftermath Silver, a Canadian mining company, on the acquisition of a 100% of the mining project Challacollo in Chile for approx. USD8,4 million, owned by Mandalay Resources, a mining company based in Canada.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Named Lawyer of the Year in Resources (Mining), Who's Who Legal (2022).
  • 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 Project Development and Project Finance, IFLR1000.
  • Recognized 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 Environmental Law, Leaders League.
  • 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 article "Citizen Participation and Prior Consultation in the Ibero-American Mining Sector", Ibero-American Mining Law Annuary, Volume II, Universidad Externado de Colombia (2022).
  • Co-author of the Chilean chapter of the guide "Practice Guide Mining" - Lexology Getting the Deal Through (2019, 2021, 2022).
  • 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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