SRK Consulting has opened a new office in Jakarta in a move aimed at cementing a stronger foothold in the expanding Indonesian mining market.

The office expands existing ties to the region established via a number of major projects that SRK has been working on over many years, according to the company’s Indonesia manager, Budi Santoso, but the new team based in Jakarta will enhance the range of services provided.

“Previously SRK was able to manage services and marketing from other global and regional offices. However, a much broader market can be accessed from an Indonesian office, where services such as exploration and operational consulting can be included in the broader service offering,” Mr Santoso said.

He said a more stable political and regulatory environment in Indonesia was giving companies looking to explore in the country greater confidence.

“The Government of Indonesia (GOI) has promulgated the new mining law, which will bring a new certainty to the mining business, which they have been waiting ten years for, although the GOI is still preparing the implementation of the regulation for the new mining law,” Mr Santoso said.

“The mining business community has increased confidence that the new law and expected implementation of the regulation will be finalised this year. The GOI also still honours the ongoing permits and contracts until their expiry date.

“The completion of the 2009 general election and the presidential election will also bring a better administration and investment climate.”

Some six consultants and four staff members are expected to work from the Indonesian office, with management support coming from SRK’s Australian practice. The main aims for the first year will be to raise awareness of the new Jakarta office and bed down current business opportunity. Mr Santoso expects business to come from exploration and JORC-compliant report preparation, mining services and merger and acquisition due diligence work.

Despite having only opened in January this year, Mr Santoso said the Indonesian office had made a promising start.

“We have secured two major exploration projects, one for coal and one for grassroots base and precious metals properties for local Jakarta clients, and are continuing to work with Indonesian clients previously secured from our Brisbane office in Australia.”