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Matthew Starnes

Of Counsel
Lawyer, Canada(Quebec) / USA(CA), Voluntarily suspended

Profile and Expertise

Matthew is a Canadian qualified lawyer with extensive contract and financing experience with a focus on mining & material resources across four continents. He has worked as a general counsel for two multi-billion-dollar mining projects, as well as in-house counsel for mining investors and outside counsel supporting investments in mining projects. He has been deeply involved in every aspect of mining projects, from start-up projects, investment decisions, project financing, permitting and environmental compliance, construction contracts and issues and sales contracts. He sits on the governing boards of two early-stage mining companies and is involved in review, and drafting mining laws in multiple jurisdictions.
He has a pragmatic, solution-oriented approach, strong legal drafting and management skills, and strengths in working successfully with diverse teams.

  • Experience
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  • ・Outside counsel assisting Japanese investor to negotiate Offtake Agreement with Canadian battery mineral supplier.
    ・Senior drafter responsible for drafting a new subsoil law for Uzbekistan based on existing law, international precedents, and input from Uzbek officials.
    ・Providing advice to Uzbek Ministry of Finance on legal issues to prepare early stage mining projects for international tender.
    ・Secretary to the Sierra Gorda owners’ council with first-hand involvement in all significant issues of concern to the project.
    ・Senior Outside counsel for Australian investor in mineral sands project in Madagascar working to get approval for the project from the government of Madagascar, including certification under the Big Mining Law, assisting in government relations, environmental authorization and permitting issues.
    ・In-house lawyer seconded to Sierra Gorda project, responsible for $1B project financing.
    ・In-house Lawyer for Sumitomo Corporation for the investment agreement and joint venture agreement with Canadian partner for Sierra Gorda copper project.
    ・General Counsel of Ambatovy Project , a nickle mine in Madagascar, responsible for $2.1B project financing and part of the Senior Management team that successfully responded to efforts by the new government of Madagascar after the 2009 coup to restructure the project’s tax and license arrangements.
    ・Corporate lawyer in Montreal and San Francisco.


1993-1997 LL.B. - B.C.L. McGILL UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL, Montreal, Quebec・Graduated with Distinction
1996-1997 UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTPELLIER, Montpellier, France, Exchange student in Law Deparatment

Admitted/Professional Experience

    Quebec Bar Association
    California Bar Association (Voluntarily suspended)

    2023- Independent Director, KORYX COPPER Inc.
    2022- Senior Drafter, EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT project to Reform Uzbekistan Mining Law
    2018- Consultant Senior Lawyer, JOHN W FFOOKS & CO
    2016- Legal Consultant, ALLEN & OVERY, Seconded to Sierra Gorda S.C.M. as Senior International Lawyer
    2011-2015 Legal Counsel, Mineral Resources Division, SUMITOMO CORPORATION
    2007-2010 Deputy President and General Counsel, AMBATOVY PROJECT
    2002-2007 Corporate Lawyer, OSLER, HOSKIN & HARCOURT
    2000-2002 Corporate Lawyer, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER
    1995-2000 Corporate Lawyer, Articling Student, STIKEMAN ELLIOTT


English (Native), French (Fluent) German, Spanish, Japanese (some)