YAV & ASSOCIATES

Cabinet d'Avocats | Law Firm  |  律师事务所

Experienced Lawyers Dedicated to Excellence in the Practice of Natural Resource Law, Environmental and Land Use in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Yav & Associates, based in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is a law office that provides skilled and knowledgeable legal representation in litigation, arbitration, transactional services and contractual work for oil, gas and mining companies. We also serve all other industries that use natural resources and public lands.


We represent companies throughout the DRC. Our lawyers are highly respected in their fields. This allows us to efficiently and effectively negotiate and document commercial and financial transactions and resolve disputes regarding the complex issues posed by environmental, water, public land, oil and gas, mining and land use matters. 


Essentially, our goal is to provide outstanding client service through expertise, insight and responsiveness. We strive to understand each client’s business or policy goals and assemble the best talent from within and outside the firm to achieve the desired results.

Focused and Experienced Natural Resource Law Attorneys

Our attorneys have experience working in highly specialized areas of the law. They have years of legal experience and most have worked at national law firms, handling complex cases and litigating in the courtroom.


Our natural resources lawyers formed our law firm to work more closely with clients who need an efficient and practical approach to resolving complex legal problems. When you work with an attorney from our team, you can be assured that he will be handling your case personally, from beginning to end. Your important legal matter is never handed off to a less experienced associate.


We invite you to review the information we have provided on this site and contact us when your company is seeking practical yet creative problem-solving to handle an environmental compliance issue, natural resource dispute or commercial dispute.

Mining and Mineral Rights Law

Our mining and mineral rights practice operates across the Congo region.


We represent companies that conduct mining operations and are looking for legal assistance in accessing, exploring, acquiring and developing properties, including private land and federal lands.


We also counsel and defend clients regarding the mining and mineral rights law of the DRC.

Oil and Gas Rights and Related Concerns

  • We represent large and small oil and gas producers in negotiating their right to explore, acquire and develop properties that have oil and gas reserves. We also assist them in gaining access to such properties, including private land and public lands.

  • We also provide oil and gas clients with various business law services to establish joint business ventures and manage contract and real estate legal concerns.

Other Issues:

  • Land Use
  • Waste Management
  • Permitting

  • Facility Siting
  • Transactional Due Diligence and Auditing
  • Environmental Compliance

Mining and Environment in the DRC

11 years ago, the DRC, which holds the largest copper and cobalt deposits in the world, adopted a mining code under Law No 007/2002 of 11 July 2002 (the “Mining Code”) with a view to attracting investments and turning its considerable natural resources into wealth.

In February 2013, a draft law on the revision of the 2002 Mining Code was circulated by the DRC Minister of Mines.

Legislation Concerning Health & Safety, Mining and the Environment

The DRC Constitution provides for the right to a healthy environment and states that everyone has a duty to protect it. Article 54 of the Constitution requires economic actors to pay due compensation and conduct remediation efforts if their activities lead to pollution or environmental damage. 


The key legislation is the Mining Code (Law No 007/2002 of July 11 2002), which details how mining projects should be done. The Code is supported by the Mining Regulations (Decree No 028/2003 of March 2003), which enforce the provisions stated in the Code. In addition, the Code offers a legal framework that regulates the environmental practices of mining companies in the DRC. 


Aside from this, the Code requires mining companies to submit environmental impact assessments (Etude d’Impact Environnemental, EIE) and environmental management plans (Plan de Gestion Environnementale du Projet, PGEP). However, these rules are easily circumvented and the documents are not always available to the public, despite the need for consultations with local communities. Article 83 of the Mining Code states that mineral processing plants must comply with environmental protection regulations. 


The Ministry of Mines’s Directorate for the Protection of the Mining Environment (DPEM) handles all aspects environmental protection. The DPEM also ensures that also mining developments implement and comply with relevant regulations.


In July 2011, the DRC government enacted the Environmental Framework Law (Loi n°11/009 du 09 juillet 2011 portant principes fondamentaux relatifs à la protection de l’environnement). This establishes the core principles related to the management and protection of the environment. It also extends the environmental regulatory framework beyond the mining sector. Additionally, it emphasizes a social component in the assessment process, which obliges proponents of industrial projects to perform an ESIA and public consultation.

En République Démocratique du Congo, le régime des hydrocarbures est « conventionnel », c’est-à-dire, c’est la convention entre l’Etat congolais et une société pétrolière qui détermine les droits et les obligations fiscales applicables à cette dernière. Cet article nous en donne les contours.

Cet article traite du Régime fiscal et douanier institué par le Code Minier de la République Démocratique du Congo [RDC].


Le Code Minier a mis en place un régime fiscal et douanier unique applicable à tous les exploitants miniers en ce sens que toutes les activités minières réalisées sur le territoire national sont soumises uniquement au Régime fiscal et douanier...

There is a lot of excellent academic, policy and practice work that tackles the links between natural resources and conflict. However, there are still varied perspectives when it comes to the exact relationship resources have with conflict. People have summed it up as the difference between greed and grievance.


Most people agree, though, that the exploitation of natural resources has played a crucial role in the conflict in the Great Lakes region and the DRC. This paper offers a perspective on how to transform conflicts by using resources as “tools for reconciliation and reconstruction.”

En République Démocratique du Congo, les droits miniers et les Autorisations d’Exploitation de Carrière Permanente peuvent faire l’objet d’une cession totale ou partielle. Cette cession est définitive et irrévocable. En l’absence de dispositions contraires, le droit commun sur la cession s’applique. Cet article donne un aperçu sur la cession des droits miniers.

Our Practices

Natural Resources & Land Use

Our firm guides clients through the legal maze and court proceedings involved with land use and environmental regulations in the DRC. We help clients develop and implement various projects and resolve any title and boundary issues.


In addition, our lawyers have the special expertise in handling administrative matters involving regulatory authorities in the DRC and the OHADA region. They are also knowledgeable in international environmental laws.

Land Title

Our attorneys are title specialists who are experienced in many areas of real property law including:

  • Boundaries
  • Easements
  • Eminent Domain
  • Litigation of Real Property Disputes
  • Mechanic’s Liens

  • Public Trust
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Title Insurance Law
  • Water Rights

We know how to deal with state agencies in matters affecting title to real property. We work closely with title companies by providing regulatory guidance, offering advice about escrow and title claims, and representing them (or their insureds) in litigation concerning disputes.

Environmental Law

Our practice covers a wide range of environmental issues. We advise clients, represent them before administrative agencies, and litigate issues relating to the following:

  • Permitting
  • Compliance
  • Environmental Impact Review
  • Water and Wastewater Discharges
  • Contaminated Soil and Groundwater

  • Air Quality
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Toxic Torts
  • Liabilities Under the Laws and Regulations of the DRC and other Countries

Litigation

Much of what we do is devoted to litigation. We represent clients in the following:

  • Environmental Enforcement Actions Brought by State Agencies
  • Citizen Suits Brought by Private Organizations
  • Disputes Arising From Governmental Efforts to Regulate Land and Natural Resource Development
  • Contractual or Business Disagreements Rooted in Real Estate Transactions, Title Insurance, Water Contracts and Contaminated Property

In the past, we have represented landowners, developers, title insurers and their insureds, regulated industries, public interest groups, condemning entities and private landowners who faced condemnation cases in state courts.

Resources and Articles

The mining code of the DRC provides possibilities for leasing and assigning mining and quarry rights. Because these rights also happen to be real and exclusive property rights, as expressed in mining and quarry permits, it is possible to lease and assign these.

Environment in the DRC

Environmental Audit, One of the Conditions for Mining Operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mining is a key sector that continuously grows many parts of the world, including the DRC. As such, mining legislation may require an environmental impact assessment to be carried out before a mine is developed. Another requirement is that a mine must be developed and operated in an environmentally sound manner with the least impact on the environment. [Read more]

L’Environnement, le sésame de toutes Opérations de recherche et d’Exploitation Minières au Congo?

En République Démocratique du Congo [RDC], dans le principe, il est admis que toutes les opérations de recherche et d’Exploitation Minières ou de carrières en dehors de l’exploitation artisanale, doivent faire l’objet d’un plan d’étude environnemental préalablement établi et d’un plan de gestion environnementale du projet. Mais la pratique ne suit pas toujours. [Lire la suite]