SRK Consulting sees huge potential in Saskatchewan
This international firm opened a Saskatoon office six years ago and has never looked back
When SRK Consulting looked to open an office in Saskatoon in 2006, due to the bulk of work for Saskatchewan they were doing out of their Vancouver office, environmental consultant Mark Liskowich jumped at the chance to return home. Since he and his wife were both originally from Saskatchewan, it was a chance to be closer to friends and family at a time when the province sat on the cusp of becoming an economic force.
“We felt that with the current level of business we were doing in the city,” said Liskowich, “there was an opportunity to do a lot more here in a lot more diverse disciplines than what we were currently working in.”
Today the company offers focused advice to clients that are mainly in earth and water resource industries, through consulting on everything a company needs, from mine planning all the way to closure. That includes environmental licensing and permits, environmental management, rock mechanics and engineering, as well as geochemistry, hydrogeology and geotechnical engineering in the areas of mine waste management.
The Saskatoon office currently has six consultants on staff who are familiar with local cultural and legislative practice. SRK Consulting began back in 1973 in South Africa and now has offices across Canada and overseas, allowing the company to mobilize large teams quickly and call on the expertise of any consultant within their organization.
“We work as one company across the country, and we work closely with our other offices,” said Liskowich. “If I need a specialty discipline that’s based in Toronto, I’ll bring [a consultant] in from Toronto, and he or she will be a part of that project team as needed.”
And vice versa.
“Our workload for the Saskatchewan office doesn’t stop at the Saskatchewan border,” said Liskowich. “We are essentially consultants who develop clients under the umbrella of the support group. Each individual often is focused on an area or specialty, but we’re not cookie cutter consultants,” he said. “With all of our clients we look for new challenges and new opportunities, and that’s what keeps us going in terms of keeping us interested in working with our client base. We enjoy creating solutions to new problems and coming up with innovative and new approaches that can help our clients with their production and their bottom line.”
Currently working with well-established mining companies like Cameco and PotashCorp, SRK is also open to the possibilities of working with new companies that are looking to gain a foothold in Saskatchewan, and have already established relationships internationally with many of the bigger companies that have announced their intent to develop projects in Saskatchewan.
“We see tremendous opportunities in the uranium and potash industries in particular,” said Liskowich. “Those are two commodities that aren’t going to slow down, despite some little blips we’re seeing now in uranium. Long term we see those as longstanding mining operations that will flourish in Saskatchewan for many years to come, and we have the expertise, the ability and the SRK culture to see those clients succeed.”
Partnerships within the mining industry form a basis for that culture.
“It’s not enough for us just to work with a client,” said Liskowich. “We really see it as an opportunity to partner with them for their success, and when we do the sky’s the limit with what we can do.”