SRK Consulting, an independent, global company providing services to the mining and water resource industries, is celebrating 40 years of business. From its small, 1974 beginnings in Johannesburg, South Africa, it has grown into an international company with more than 1,500 employees.
“We are grateful to our clients for the opportunities to provide them with advice and solutions,” said Andy Barrett, SRK Group CEO. “Our company’s reputation and track record have been built largely on their projects, and we thank them for their trust and confidence.”
Group and UK Chairman Mike Armitage adds that SRK’s achievements can be attributed to its people. “We have been able to add value to our clients’ projects by attracting and retaining talented professionals, some of whom are world leaders in their fields,” he said.
While SRK initially focused on providing geotechnical and mine design services, over the last four decades it has broadened its scope to cover all aspects of the mining industry from grassroots exploration to mine closure.
“Mining, by its very nature, requires a multi-disciplinary approach,” said Roger Dixon, chairman of SRK (South Africa). “This applies more today than ever before, particularly with respect to the environmental and social impacts of mineral projects.”
For example, SRK recently undertook environmental and social impact assessments and management planning – including stakeholder engagement – for several mines in the Congo and Zambia. A major objective of clients was to augment their social licences to operate through transparent, open, and good faith engagement with stakeholders.
“Key outcomes of this work include improved relationships and trust between the client, communities, and other stakeholders; access to funding from financial institutions requiring Equator Principles compliance; and permit renewal for several of the projects,” Dixon said.
SRK regards its independence – through employee-ownership and not holding equity in any project – as a fundamental attribute that enables SRK to provide demonstrably conflict free, objective recommendations on crucial judgement issues.
“One of our regular tasks is providing high level assurance to clients contemplating financial transactions where ‘real money’ is on the line for buyers and lenders,” said Simon Hanrahan, chairman of SRK (Australasia). “Good corporate governance usually requires technical valuations to be confirmed through independent, third party reviews.”
When Barrick recently offered its Yilgarn South assets for sale in Australia, Gold Fields not only conducted its own internal analysis, but also appointed SRK to conduct an independent, parallel review. SRK’s study addressed geology, resource, mining, geotechnical, mineral processing, tailings management, infrastructure, and environmental issues, and contributed towards Gold Fields’ ultimately successful purchase of these Barrick assets.
Looking to the future, Armitage said, “Our ongoing success will depend on us continuing to employ top technical people and retaining the trust of our clients.
“We will keep investing time and energy in our staff members, helping them reach their potential through exposure to a range of commodities, mining methods, and technologies in a variety of climates,” he said. “Our clients’ trust will depend on our continued ability to add value to their projects. This is essential for every mandate.”
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