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Rafael Vergara

Rafael Vergara



  • Mining
  • Environmental Law and Litigation
  • Infrastructure and Project Development

WSG Practice Industries


WSG Leadership

Mining Group



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.

Bar Admissions

Chile (1987).


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

Environmental Law and Litigation | Infrastructure and Project Development | Mining

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

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

Professional Activities and Experience

  • At-Large Council Member representative for Latin America, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) (2017-2019).
  • Trustee-at-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2012-2015).
  • Member of the board, Chilean Bar Association (2006-2011).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Member of the American Bar Association.
  • Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
  • Member of the Association of Latin American Mining Lawyers (AMLA).
  • Member of the Advisory Council of the World Association of Mining Lawyers (WAOML).
  • Member of the Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA).


Mining Safety Guide on Contingency Plans for Staff Reduction, Production Detentions or Slowdown of Operations
Carey, June 2020

Due to the reduction to the minimum necessary staff that works in mining operations and, consequently, to the reduction of their capacity to react in the event of incidents or operational accidents,a guide for preparing contingency plans with measures to prevent these risks was approved. (Guide: Exempt Resolution No...

Subsecretary of Fishing and Aquaculture Extends Plantation Terms and Provides Recommendations to Operate
Carey, May 2020

In the context of COVID-19, the Undersecretary of Fishing and Aquaculture (Subpesca) issued Resolution No. 1068 (Res. 1068), which provides the extension in a month, of the terms for sanitary rests and harvest regulated in articles 23 Ñ and 23 R of Supreme Decree No. 319/2001, Sanitary Regulation for Aquaculture, in all farming centers. Recommendations In addition, by means of Res...

Chile Offers Manufacturing Incentives to Promote the Development of Lithium Products
Carey, May 2017

The Chilean Economic Development Agency, Corfo, and the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency, InvestChile, have announced the opening of the first call for national and foreign companies, to express their interest in manufacturing lithium products, such as battery cathodes and electrolytes. Companies that are selected will be guaranteed 25 per cent of US producer Albemarle’s lithium production at the lowest cost available in the market...

Additional Articles

  • Co-author of the article Streaming Agreements – Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2019).
  • 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).


Water Code Reform

During March 2011, a draft bill was introduced through parliamentary motion, initiating the discussion of a comprehensive amendment of the Water Code. During its legislative discussion, the project has been subject to significant changes through substitutive indications submitted in 2014 by the...

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