SRK’s teamwork benefits firms in DRC

Bringing its technical expertise together with language and cultural understanding, SRK Consulting has been able to offer greater support to companies from China operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

SRK’s office in the DRC – based in the mining hub of Lubumbashi – recently launched a collaborative initiative with SRK practices in China and South Africa. By working more closely, these offices have been able to optimise service levels for China-based clients. Recent years have seen a steady increase in the number of Chinese owned mining companies operating in Africa – and in countries like the DRC in particular.

“Through this collaboration, SRK combines our depth of indigenous expertise in the DRC and South Africa with the cultural knowledge of our office in China,” said Susa Maleba, mining engineer and SRK’s DRC country manager. “Among the benefits of this initiative is better and quicker communication with clients to improve the efficiency in doing business.”

The teamwork allows streamlined communication with clients at mining operations in the DRC and at head office level in China, said Maleba. By bridging these gaps with suitably experienced professionals, there will be more consistency and less duplication in working with clients.

An important asset in the initiative will be experienced resource geologist Li Frank Feng from SRK’s office in China. Li has been earmarked to be the liaison between SRK’s Johannesburg and Lubumbashi offices and clients in the DRC and China.

“Li has a decade of consulting experience and has completed over 50 projects,” said SRK China managing director and principal consultant Pengfei Xiao. “He has also developed and in-depth understanding of analysis and mineral resource reporting conversions between of Chinese and JORC Code standards.”

Pengfei emphasised that professional growth among its staff was a key value of SRK, facilitated by ongoing knowledge transfer. The collaboration will allow Li to bring his knowledge gained in China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia and South America to the African practices; at the same time, he will develop his understanding of the DRC environment and local requirements.

Since it opened in 2010, SRK’s DRC office has been a pioneer in a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) projects. The DRC team has also been able to leverage the strong ESG focus in SRK’s South African and United Kingdom offices.

“ESG is today a critical consideration in mining and needs to be incorporated in all stages – from planning and exploration through to mine closure and rehabilitation,” said Wouter Jordaan, SRK partner and principal environmental scientist.

Jordaan, who is also a director of SRK Consulting DRC, said that SRK had identified two members of the Beijing staff to work in this space in the DRC with our Chinese clients. He highlighted that the ESG focus is increasingly important as DRC tightens up its regulations on environmental and social impacts.

“As the ESG framework in the DRC becomes more complex, it is critical for mining companies to understand domestic and global requirements,” he said. “Mines also need to comply with the ESG reporting requirements of their customers – including battery, cellular phone and vehicle manufacturers.”

He said SRK’s global footprint and multidisciplinary capacity were enhanced by the close working relationships between offices – giving clients valuable local and international insights.

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