Photo courtesy of HDR/Salva Resources
Salva geologists work on an Aquila Resources mining project in Australia.

Despite recent slowdowns and cancellations of mining projects, particularly in Australia, Omaha-based engineer HDR remains optimistic that growth in the sector could boost stalled global economies.

As a result, the firm announced April 2 that has acquired Brisbane-based mining sector engineer and market analysis firm Salva Resources.

Transaction terms of the deal, which will transfer 200 employees to HDR's existing 35-person presence in Australia, were not disclosed.

HDR, with 8,000 global staff, is employee-owned. The firms ranks at No. 11 on ENR's list of the Top 500 Design Firms, with about $1.6 billion in global revenue; about $96 million is from work outside the U.S.

The firms did not disclose Salva revenue, but a business publication in Australia, estimates its current revenue at about $52 million.

"As the economy begins to recover globally, resource development is a key to fueling the global economic engine," Eric L. Keen, president of HDR Engineering Inc., told ENR. "Salva's and HDR's skill sets complement each other from validating resources to following through with design. We can offer the full range of services from pit to port."

The acquisition includes both Salva Resources’ exploration and mining consultancy and its Salva Reports commodity analysis group, the two firms say. Salva Resources employees are based in Australia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia and the U.K

Salva Resources will do business as HDR|Salva.

In a statement, Keen says Salva international team "provides technical and commercial advice to the world’s largest mining groups and investment firms," including "major greenfield and brownfield exploration projects over the past 12 months for various commodities in over 20 countries including Australia, Indonesia, Africa, Sweden, Papua New Guinea and Fiji."

Clients listed on Salva's website include Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd, Peabody Energy Australia, Anglo Coal, Rio Tinto, Aquila, Xstrata Coal, BMA, Tri Star Coal, Stanmore Coal and Coal Bank.

A Salva spokeswomen says the firm is working in Mongolia for Guildford Coal's Terra Energy project.

“Salva professionals are greatly respected throughout the mining industry, says Keen. "Their talents mesh perfectly with our goals of strengthening our mining/resources practice and global presence."

Lachlan Broadfoot, managing director of Salva Resources, founded in 2007, says the purchase "solidifies Salva’s international growth strategy." He now is mining sector director of HDR Engineering. He is a former Rio Tinto process engineer, says one Australian publication.

Lindsay Crutch, who was Salva Resources CEO, joins HDR as HDR|Salva operations director. HDR’s other Australian operations include HDR|DKS, which joined the parent in July 2012.

Keen adds that the firm's Salva Reports unit, which provides commodities market and mining supply chain analysis as well as demand forecasting in the iron ore, coal, metals, power, steel and infrastructure sectors "strengthens our consulting practice as a strategic advisor with infrastructure capabilities."