Developing the Eastern link

The Perth office of an international science and engineering consulting firm is proving a vital link between the Chinese mining community and international investment and mining communities wanting a share of emerging opportunities in China.

Perth SRK Consulting’s principal geotechnical engineer Youzhi Wei assisted with a due diligence report to support the IPO of the Aluminium Corporation of China on the New York and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges in December 2001, and has helped prepare an independent technical report on the Jining No 3 coal mine subsequently acquired by Yanzhou Coal Mining Corporation Limited in association with Rothschild China Holdings.

SRK has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Mining Association, to support links between CMA’s 2000 members and the Australian mining and investment community, and has established an office in the CMA building in Beijing.

Peter Williams, managing director of SRK’s Perth office, says the local group’s technical and research specialties are in geology and mine design, in particular caving technologies, and in advanced geostatistics.

Dr Williams said the strength of SRK in large financial due diligence work projects in China was not only its mix, but also its appreciation of the cultural differences which impacted on doing business there.

The Chinese Government was seeking active investment in the country’s mining industry, and SRK was not just assisting with processes in the privatisation of the Chinese mining market, it was also offering a skills package to support companies seeking finance for investment in China.

People’s Republic of China Consul General in Perth Zhang Lian Yun told 150 guests at a recent SRK function that Western Australian trade with China was worth A$3.12 billion in 2001, up 40 per cent on the previous year.

Dr Wei is giving the keynote address at Placer Dome’s Shangdong gold workshop later this month.

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