SRK Ghana will initially offer geotechnical services including rock mechanics, tailings engineering and civil geotechnics; but the range of SRK’s other services – will be developed in the medium term.
(PRWEB) September 05, 2011
Mining Consultants SRK Consulting has opened a practice in Ghana’s capital, Accra. This follows several decades of involvement in West Africa and will consolidate SRK’s position in the region. It will not only give it closer contact with clients, but also serve as a springboard to future expansion in the region.
John Kwofie, a well-known and experienced local engineer with over 20 years’ experience focusing on pit slope design and analysis, tailings design and operations, foundations investigation and materials studies, will head up the practice.
Apart from his extensive experience on Ghana’s larger gold mines, Kwofie has worked internationally as a consultant in Africa and Asia and lectured part time between 2003 and 2006 in engineering geology at the University of Ghana, Legon. He has also served as vice president of the Ghana National Working Group on Rock Mechanics.
“Ghana is the second-largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa and a significant portion of the country’s external revenue is from gold mining,” says Kwofie. “This makes the establishment of an SRK practice in Accra an exciting step in the company’s long association with Ghana.”
“As the minerals base of Ghana’s economy broadens, this presents great opportunities for growth and development,” he comments. “SRK Ghana will initially offer geotechnical services including rock mechanics, tailings engineering and civil geotechnics; but the range of SRK’s other services – environmental, hydrogeological, mining engineering and geology – will be developed in the medium-term.”
“SRK Ghana will be able to draw on the skills and capacity residing in other practices in our global network, offering our clients an unmatched depth and range of expertise,” he says.
The involvement of SRK in Ghana goes back a long way, mainly through the company’s practices in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and North America as interest in West Africa has grown among explorers and miners from those regions.
“Our early priority has been to staff the practice with local experts to augment the existing consulting team,” says Kwofie. “This is not a difficult task, thanks to our knowledge of the environment here, and the good supply of well-trained and experienced engineers in our mining sector.”
The strong foundation of mining engineering skills in Ghana comes largely from the many cohorts of engineers in mining-related disciplines that have graduated from the University of Mines and Technology in Kumasi – and who went on to hone their specialities in mining operations within the region and abroad.
“The ready availability of these skills in the Accra practice will enable direct local support for clients and participation in projects undertaken by SRK Consulting both in the country and the wider West African region,” says Neil Marshall, a corporate consultant and rock mechanics specialist from the SRK UK consulting practice.
“We have a solid client network for us to build on and also considerable project work currently on going in Ghana. An important immediate focus will be on building our technical team, transferring skills and training new staff,” he says.
The consulting practice will comprise five staff – three technical and two supporting – by the end of this calendar year. In this regard, Isaac Baidoo, a mining engineer with 15 years of experience and focusing on construction quality control, has recently joined the SRK Ghana team.
Says Roger Dixon, corporate consultant and chairman of SRK SA: “SRK’s business model relies on local ownership and empowerment, combined with a stringent set of quality standards regulating all aspects of company performance. We look forward to working on new opportunities and furthering relationships with our existing client base in Ghana and the wider West Africa region.”
Just last year, SRK opened an office in the Democratic Republic of Congo.