Whether for its clients, shareholders or employees, independent consulting engineering firm SRK Consulting strives to ensure that everything it does adds value beyond basic services and functions. SRK has built an extensive customer base since 1974, including mining and exploration companies, financial institutions, construction firms and government institutions. Focused primarily on the mining and exploration industries, SRK provides specialist services through the project life cycle - from grass roots exploration through project development to operational support and closure. "We bring independent, unbiased advice to help our clients optimise and grow their businesses," says SRK group CEO Andy Barrett. "Examples of our services include audits, competent persons reports and due diligence, which are generally linked to project financing, stock exchange listings, mergers and acquisitions and disposals of mining assets. We also provide specialist services mainly in the fields of geology, resource estimation, mining, environment, water and waste engineering." SRK has about 1,400 employees worldwide, in 20 countries on six continents. This is important in today's economic climate, where the client might be in one country, the project in another and the financier in a third. "We are able to provide support to all components of the project with in-country teams," Barrett says. Many of SRK's employees are renowned international experts. "We foster a culture and environment where people are empowered to run their practices and grow as consultants in their own right," Barrett says. "Every project is different - a learning opportunity to grow our expertise and improve our client's businesses." Emerging markets such as the mainland, Indonesia, Mongolia, India and Africa are driving demand for SRK's consulting capabilities, particularly in project evaluation and feasibility studies. "We have assisted several of our Asian clients in their quest for acquiring mineral properties around the world," Barrett says. "For the coming years, we see continued growth of our established offices. We will also begin our evaluation of an office in Hong Kong."