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New recruit to lead SRK’s mining arm

SRK Consulting has continued to expand its mining team in Perth, Western Australia, with the recruitment of block cave mining specialist Simon Hanrahan from Rio Tinto to lead high-level work in this field.

The ex-Rio Tinto mining engineer joins SRK Consulting in January 2010.

Hanrahan has more than 20 years of industry experience, including most recently with Rio Tinto in Salt Lake City, USA. He has been with Rio Tinto for 10 years, including time at the major’s USA, Australian and South African operations and with Goldfields of South Africa 14 years previously.

His specialist knowledge of block cave mining, as well as his proven ability to manage major projects across multiple commodities, will be major assets to SRK, says SRK Australia managing director Peter Williams.

“Simon has been involved with some of the biggest projects around the world,” Williams said. “He will bring the expertise of managing and operating large-scale studies and development projects for underground and open-pit mining that will significantly add to SRK’s ability to win new projects.”

Hanrahan is well respected for his work in the mass mining area, but his skills set is much more extensive, he says.

“My career has been very broad over the past 24 years and I have worked across the whole mining value chain, from studies through to operations; all at various levels and across multiple resource types and different commodities,” he said.

Hanrahan graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand as a mining engineer in 1984, before moving to South Africa as a graduate trainee with Goldfields of South Africa. He said the decision to move to South Africa provided him with great opportunities for his career development.

“I have been very fortunate in my career to date in what I have achieved and been able to do,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to work internationally across multiple commodities, with different cultures and as well, travel to a number of global mining operations outside of my direct employment. I have really got the most out of the opportunities that have come my way, and gained strength in managing projects and a achieved a broad exposure to the whole value chain of the mining business, having worked from a miner through to a general manager. I like to think I am able to operate over a broad mining front.”

During the past 10 years with Rio Tinto, Hanrahan has worked on three large scale block cave projects. The most recent was Kennecott Utah Copper’s, Bingham Canyon mine in the USA, where he led a multi-disciplinary team to execute a $500 million pre-feasibility study project which included a traditional Pre Feasibility Study, exploration drilling and design and construction of a 1000m exploration shaft with associated underground development. The scope of this work included an open pit pushback and massive mining options for the underground resources. He also was a member of the feasibility study team at the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, initially responsible for the development, capital estimation and project controls. He then went onto lead the Argyle Underground Project prior to project approval and commenced the construction phase for the underground block cave mine. Prior to moving to Australia, Hanrahan worked on the Palabora Underground Mine Project in South Africa, where he was responsible for the mine development, pre-production preparations (recruitment, training, fleet selection and procurement, procedure development and secondary breaking processes) and commissioning of the mine.

During his time with Goldfields of South Africa, Hanrahan worked at a number of the mining house’s sites including Northam Platinum where hydropower technology was being introduced and he was responsible for championing the successful introduction of the hydropowered loader. Hanrahan also worked at O’okiep Copper where he was responsible for the construction of an underground copper mine. In 1996 he was awarded the SAIMM Atlas Copco Travel Award which afforded him the opportunity to visit a number of European mining operations.

SRK Hong Kong