Overview

About Ramona

Ramona’s practice focuses on matters related to Alaska’s vast wealth of land and minerals. She represents natural resource companies in transactions, financing, and compliance with state and local government requirements. She has significant experience in preparing both oil and gas, and mineral title opinions. Ramona led the Alaska Miners Association’s successful efforts to amend Alaska’s mineral tenure statutes in 2020.

Ramona is active in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, serving on the Program Committee and formerly a trustee-at-large (2016–2018). She was awarded the Advocate of the Year by the Alaska Miners Association in 2018. She has been included in The Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Oil & Gas Law), 2018–2022.

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Experience

Experience

Mining

  • Represented Northern Star Resources as U.S. counsel in its acquisition of Pogo Mine, including due diligence on issues ranging from property rights, environmental and mine safety to employment and employee benefit plans. Oversaw a team assisting with entity creation and organization, transaction documents, employment issues, employee benefits, HSR filings, tax advice, supplemental stock offering, and changes to an existing credit facility.
  • Represented junior exploration company in negotiating and documenting a complex joint venture arrangement with an Australian investor, including advising with respect to form and structure of the joint venture. The project involved multiple claim blocks and provided the investor with the ability to identify one claim block for development and earn a higher interest in that claim block, as well as a loan-carry arrangement to finance mine development of the preferred claim block.
  • Represented Australian mining company with respect to due diligence for potential acquisition of an underground mine in the U.S., including diligence with respect to mineral tenure and surface use rights, environmental permitting, review of contracts, employee benefit plans, and water rights.
  • Negotiated a mineral lease with an Alaska Native corporation on behalf of a large, commercial placer mining company, and a surface use agreement with an Alaska Native village corporation for the same project.
  • Prepared title reports for use in conjunction with three separate brokered private placements generating in the aggregate nearly $40,000,000.
  • Assisted in acquiring a 100-year-old entity that held certain State of Alaska mining claims, acquisition of other properties, and have advised the client with respect to compliance with COVID-19 mandates while conducting mineral exploration activities, including moving workers across the U.S.-Canadian border.
  • Assisted a junior explorer with a strategic alliance agreement with an Australian company to identify, explore, and acquire rights in prospects in Alaska. Conducted due diligence and prepared option agreements for certain identified prospects.
  • Represented a joint venture entity with respect to mineral tenure and other property and regulatory issues during a sale of the entity.
  • Assisted mining company with transaction involving exchange of surface rights and mineral rights on different properties so each side ended up with both surface and minerals.
  • Hecla/Greens Creek Mine – Prepared comprehensive title report on active large-scale mining comprised of more than 700 mining claims, and later update of the title report, in connection with a significant financing transaction. Assisted client in satisfying lender by completing curative actions identified in title report.

Oil & Gas

  • ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., – Seconded to in-house legal department on two separate occasions for a total of 15 months. Analyzed complex issues regarding title, encumbrances, and leasehold obligations; analyzed issues arising under unit agreements and joint operating agreements; assisted with unit expansion application; performed due diligence for lease acquisition; assisted with sale of assets and related issues.
  • Furie Operating Alaska, LLC – Represented independent oil and gas company in obtaining necessary State of Alaska approvals to install new offshore natural gas production platform in Cook Inlet, including 16-mile pipeline and onshore gas processing facility. This was the first new platform installed in Cook Inlet in 15 years.
  • Furie Operating Alaska, LLC – Assisted client in obtaining $160 million to finance installation of offshore infrastructure for natural gas development.
  • Oil and Gas Title Opinions – Prepared complex oil and gas title opinions for various companies in Alaska. Opinions cover leases on state, federal, and Native lands, offshore and onshore, for purposes of drilling, division order, acquisition, and financing.
  • Represented innovative company in determining how State of Alaska regulations affect deployment of new technology in oil and gas operations in Alaska.

Coastal Zone Management

  • Obtained a favorable decision from the Secretary of Commerce in an appeal of objections made by two states to the consistency certification for an offshore seismic survey in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the first appeal to the Secretary under revised CZMA regulations.
  • Alaska Coastal Management Program – Analyzed proposed citizens’ initiative to reinstate Alaska’s coastal management program and educated the campaign team on what the initiative would do, contrary to the proponents’ claims. The initiative was ultimately defeated.
  • Advised client with respect to compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act and the coastal management programs of seven Atlantic states in connection with an application to conduct a geophysical survey along approximately 1,000 miles of the U.S. Atlantic coastline.

Cable Television Franchising

  • Represented a major telecommunications provider in negotiating cable television franchise agreements with various cities and counties in California, Oregon, and Washington, including appearing before City Councils and Boards of County Commissioners in public hearings to obtain approval of the agreements. Also represented the client in obtaining consent to transfer many of these agreements to a new service provider.
  • Represented a new cable television service provider in negotiating a franchise agreement with a major Midwest city.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Oil & Gas Law), 2018–2022
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Alaska) by Chambers USA (currently: Natural Resources & Environment), 2019–2021
  • “Advocate of the Year,” Alaska Miners Association, 2018
  • Trustee-At-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 2016–2018
  • Board of Directors, Alaska Miners Association, 2015–present
  • President, Alaska Association of Professional Landmen, 2015–2016 (also served as Vice President 2014–2015 and Past President 2016–2017)
  • Mining Section Chair, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation 61st Annual Institute, 2015
  • Special Institutes Committee, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 2010–present
  • President, Board of Trustees, Listen and Talk, 2008–2013 (Member of the Board 1998–2014)
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Alaska Update – The Australian Invasion and Mineral Tenure,” Mining and Land Resources Institute, 2020
  • “Mineral Tenure Under SB 155,” Alaska Association of Professional Landmen, 2020
  • “Alaska Lands and Mineral Interests” (co-author), 3 Am. L. of Mining, chs. 70-73, 2010, 2011 and 2016 updates
  • “State Leases: A Panel Discussion,” RMMLF Special Institute on Drafting and Negotiating the Modern Oil & Gas Lease, 2018
  • “Mineral Property Agreements – 101,” AMA 2018 Fairbanks 26th Biennial Convention: Prospecting Alaska’s Future, 2018 (co-speaker)
  • “Alaska Lands – An Overview of the North Slope,” ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., 2017
  • “What, Why, and How of Title Opinions,” Alaska Association of Professional Landmen, 2017
  • “The Endangered Species Act Meets Alaska,” Alaska Oil & Gas Association Informational Seminar for the 30th Legislature, 2016
  • “Severed Estates in Alaska – A Case Study,” Stoel Rives LLP, 2016
  • “Title Opinions – Why Should I Care?” ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., 2015
  • “Drilling With Other People’s Money: Liens, Liens, and More Liens, Everywhere and on Everything,” Alaska Association of Professional Landmen, 2014 (co-speaker)
  • “Intralimital Rights In, Under, To, and Respecting Lands Within Unpatented Federal Mining Locations,” Advanced Mineral Title Examination—Oil & Gas and Mining, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 2014 (co-author and co-speaker)
  • “Alaska’s Constitutional Natural Resource Provisions and REDOIL, Was This the Framer’s Intent?” Law Seminars International, 2013
  • “ORRIs in Passing: Transfers Upon the Death of the Owner,” Alaska Association of Professional Landment, 2013 (co-speaker)
  • “Muddy Water, Section 404 Jurisdiction,” Mining in Alaska: Law, Permitting Issues and Current Trends, The Seminar Group, 2013
  • “Underwater in Alaska, Who Owns What?” Alaska Association of Professional Landmen, Anchorage, Alaska, 2012
  • “Resolving Conflicts Between Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy Development,” Renewable Energy World Conference, Tampa, Florida, 2011



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