Local presence pays off

SALVA Resources’ approach to coal mining is a result of two Australian entrepreneurs’ dedication to research the market, culture and politics they were dealing with.
Local presence pays off Local presence pays off Local presence pays off Local presence pays off Local presence pays off

The flag of India

Staff Reporter

Published in the August 2010 Australia’s Mining Monthly

Lachlan Broadfoot and Grant Moyle created an international mining consultancy offering marketing, technical and commercial services mainly to the coal industry.

However, its commodity experience is diversifying as quickly as the firm’s locations.

The three-year-old company occupies office space in Brisbane, Kolkata and Jakarta, and has specifically expanded into key international locations to assist Australian clients.

From field exploration to marketing, Salva Resources offers a start-to-finish solution, with the ability to assess commercial viability and drive a venture forward.

India’s exceptional growth and population placed significant pressure on its energy sector and increased the demand for resources.

With an abundance of coal in the country’s northeastern regions and limited alternative fuel supplies, there was a strong push to develop India’s coal resources. This forced the government to encourage private development and contract mining solutions to be implemented.

Seizing opportunities like this is not always easy.

Salva chief executive Moyle said the Indian operation required much time and patience, as it initially faced difficulty with the set up.

It took a dedicated effort to learn how to do business the national way in India and understand the social, cultural and political environment, to service the market effectively.

Salva’s Kolkata operation has 40 full-time staff.

Moyle believes the key to becoming a sustainable provider in India is steering away from the fly-in, fly-out expat workers and instead invest in local knowledge and talent.

Its Indian offices are maintained and managed by local experts.

The firm boasts a global team of 90 geologists, mining engineers, safety managers and coal marketers. They collaborate on projects in Australia, Indonesia, India, Africa, Oman and the Philippines.

Moyle attributes the firm’s success to taking the time to hiring and training the right people, learning how to do business in each region, and having a local presence.

In India, Salva is engaged in the site geology and mine planning stages for NSL Consolidated; the geological modelling and mine planning review for Leighton Mining; and the resource modelling for Aditya Birla Group, which specialises in India’s power generation and has set up camp close to the coal mines.

In Australia, Salva has been involved with Hancock Coal’s Alpha project and Kevin’s Corner, both located in Queensland.

Salva’s safety team has developed community management systems for some of Australia’s prominent minesites.

The marketing team’s presence in India enables it to provide representation for the region, organising introductory meetings for Australian and Indonesian producers, with target companies in the complex environment.