Phil Edmands

Partner, Energy and Resources

Gilbert + Tobin


A former General Counsel Iron Ore and Managing Director Australia for Rio Tinto, Phil is a resources and energy expert practising in unregulated M&A and all aspects of development of, access to and financing of mining projects and infrastructure. He has extensive experience in Africa including:
- acting on Rio Tinto’s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, West Africa – which as developed would be the largest mine, rail and port project in Africa to date - including title defence, a US$700 million settlement agreement with the Government, and finance and project development negotiations.
- acting on a major gold development in Tanzania including negotiating a State/Investor agreement with the World Bank funded advisers to the Tanzanian Government that subsequently became the template Investor/State agreement appended to the Tanzanian Mining Act.
- acting on other mine developments across Africa including in Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Phil also has significant additional mine and infrastructure experience, including:
- legal and joint commercial lead for Rio Tinto on the proposed US100billion iron ore joint venture between BHPB and Rio Tinto.
- leading the ultimately successful defence of the application for access to Rio Tinto’s 1700km Pilbara rail network - the largest private rail network in the world.

In addition to his former positions at Rio Tinto, Phil is a former director of the Business Council of Australia and Minerals Council of Australia, a former Chairman of the $5.5 billion Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund and a former partner, Perth managing partner and head of international operations for another major law firm.Phil hold the qualifications of Bachelor of Jurisprudence, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.

Phil Edmands