How SRK Consulting has been there for South Africa’s mining journey
12 February 2020 Consultancy.co.za
Against the context of SRK Consulting’s success in the South African market in recent years, SRK Consulting executives have indicated that the firm’s wide range of technical expertise is a strong factor in matching the ever-evolving needs of South Africa’s mining sector.
SRK Consulting has been operating in the South African market since 1974, offering a range of services to the mining sector such as project evaluation, geology, resources & exploration, geotechnical services and a number of others. As the mining sector has evolved, so have the responsibilities for SRK Consulting.
Mining is among the most significant sectors for South Africa’s economy, accounting for nearly 10% of the country’s GDP. Owing to fluctuations in commodity prices in recent years, the mining industry has suffered from volatile revenues, and has been made aware of the significant risks that it faces going forth.
Despite relative stability in recent months, mining in South Africa is now faced with the prospect of exhausted reserves, increasing capital costs and disruption from technology. For many, the answer has been to digitalise their operations so as to achieve maximum output from the relatively low investment.
SRK has been integral in this process, advising the mining sector on the way forwards. Late in 2018, the firm was named a leader when it comes to publishing reports on the mining sector in South Africa, in recognition of the firm’s adept analytical capabilities. According to Andrew van Zyl, Director & Principal Consultant at SRK Consulting, the firm now anticipates significant risk for the sector.
“There has been a steady rise in the sheer breadth and complexity of risk in mining. Understanding and addressing each of these risks requires not just a suite of professional disciplines; it also requires technical expertise and experience to be constantly advancing knowledge and developing best practice,” he said.
Mining closures are also a growing pressure point in South Africa, with many expressing concern around the social and environmental cost of mining. Senior Social Scientist at SRK Consulting Jessica Edwards acknowledges this scenario.
“At the ‘tail end’ of the drive towards ensuring a social license to operate, there is now recognition of the need for social transitioning when planning for closure. Successful social transitioning should result in sustainable economic opportunities for the region once mining has ceased,” she said.