Biography

Michael is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s Energy + Resources group and is a member of Gilbert + Tobin’s Board of partners.

A specialist in the areas of resources and corporate law. Within his areas of practice, Michael has significant expertise and experience in joint ventures and strategic alliances, development agreements, project commercialisation, initial public offerings, takeovers and mergers, corporate and project fundraisings either with debt or equity, construction and service contracts and asset purchases and sales.

Michael’s overseas experience has now covered in excess of 50 countries. Michael has a particular reputation for advising clients engaging in projects in Africa.

Michael has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Jurisprudence from the University of Western Australia.

Michael’s experience includes:

  • Al Rawda Resources Limited in relation to due diligence on:
    • the Askaf Project in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and documentation of the acquisition of a controlling interest in that project; and
    • an advanced exploration iron ore project in the Republic of Guinea.
  • Mali Lithium Limited (previously Birimian Limited) in relation to a due diligence on its lithium projects in the Republic of Mali.
  • BlueScope Steel Limited with respect to the detailed due diligence conducted on the mining assets.
  • Emerald Resources Limited in relation to the preparation of a development agreement with the Royal Government of Cambodia Gold Project.
  • Globe Metals and Mining Limited with respect to negotiating a development agreement with the Government of the Republic of Malawi.
  • Iluka Resources Limited in relation to the acquisition of the Puttalam Mineral Sands Project in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and its engagement with the Sri Lankan government relating to the development of the project.
  • Iron Ore Holdings Limited (now BCI Minerals Limited) in relation to:
    • the $250 million cash and scrip takeover of that company by BC Iron Limited; and 
    • it entering into development and operating leases with the Pilbara Ports Authority for the development of a 20 million tonne per annum transhipment facility at Cape Lambert in Western Australia.
  • Newcrest Mining Limited with respect to that company’s negotiations with the Republic of Fiji on establishing a A$1.25 billion gold and copper project in Fiji.
  • Sundance Resources Limited with respect to that company’s agreements with the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo on establishing a A$5.5 billion iron ore project in both countries.
  • Syrah Resources Ltd with respect to the commercialising its graphite project in Mozambique and its entering into a mining agreement with the Republic of Mozambique.

Michael was named in the Energy Law, Mining Law and Natural Resources Law categories.

Best Lawyers Australia 2020

Michael ranked in Band 1 for Energy & Natural Resources: Mining - Australia.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

Michael ranked in Band 1 for Energy & Natural Resources: Mining – Australia and Foreign Expertise in Africa-wide Energy & Natural Resources - Australia.

Chambers Global 2019

Michael was listed as a leading individual for Natural Resources (transactions and regulatory).

Legal 500 Australia 2018

Michael was recognised as a leading individual for Natural Resources.

Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific 2018

Michael Blakiston is highly regarded in the market for capital markets and joint venture transactions as well as his experience in handling mining projects across the world, particularly in Africa. Clients say: "He is very pragmatic with advice, in that he has a good balance between legal risk and commercial reality."

Chambers Asia Pacific 2019

Western Australia listed Michael as preeminent.

Doyle’s Guide for Energy & Resources Lawyers 2017