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Principal Team

Mikhail Tsypukov Principal

Mikhail Tsypukov MSc., Ph.D., FIMMM

Principal Exploration Geologist, Director (Moscow)

Mikhail has more than 20 years experience in exploration and mining projects across Asia and Europe. He has a strong academic background with a PhD on the geochemistry and mineral potential of komatiite formations and has been awarded several scientific and industrial research grants related to mantle peridotites, Ni-Cu-PGE and marine evaporite formations (potash, rock salt) in both Russia and Europe.

For the last 15 years Mikhail has worked as an Exploration Manager for a variety of Canadian, American and Mongolian exploration juniors, predominantly in the Central Asia region, designing and implementing QA/QC programmes towards JORC and CIM compliancy. Mikhail is the author of a number of scientific publications, reviews and reports on uranium/coal, potash, PGE, nickel, copper, gold and base metals exploration.

Mikhail has managed the SRK Exploration office in Moscow since 2010.

Gareth O'Donovan

Gareth O'Donovan MSc, FGS, FIOM3, C. Eng

Associate Corporate Consultant

Gareth is a Coporate Consultant (Exploration) with more than 28 years experience in mining and mineral exploration projects in Africa Europe, the Americas and Asia.

He specialises in the design, implementation and management of exploration projects from grassroots to pre-feasibility stage, and the logistical and managerial aspects of mobilising multi-disciplinary field teams. More recently his work has included reviews, competent persons reports, audits and valuations of exploration and mining properties world-wide and in a variety of commodities.

Gareth was the Managing Director of SRK ES since founding the company in 2003.  He was Chairman of SRK Exploration from 2017-2018.

Chris Barrett Principal

Chris Barrett BSc (Hons), MSc, C.Geol.

Principal Exploration Geologist

Chris has more than 20 years' of international experience in the mineral exploration industry. His expertise lie in the design, implementation and management of exploration programmes and the use of remote sensing and GIS to generate robust geological targets for field investigation. He has completed numerous base metal, gold, uranium, graphite, mineral sands and REE projects across more than 35 countries.

Chris brings strong industry links and a impressive data management philosophy to the SRK Exploration team.

Jon Russill Principal

Jon Russill BSc (Hons), FGS

Principal Exploration Geologist

Jon has been working in the mineral exploration industry for over 18 years. Following a number of years as a geophysicist, Jon joined SRK Exploration in 2008. Jon has a wealth of knowledge and experience of developing exploration projects from the grassroots stage, particularly in Greenland and Sierra Leone. He has led SRK Exploration's participation in gold, iron, rare earth and more recenlty, critical/strategic elements projects.

Jon is now heavily involved in the developement of the SRK Group's exploration services to the Scandinavian region.

Nick O'Reilly MSc, DIC, BSc (Hons), ProfGradIMMM

Associate Principal Exploration Geologist

Nick is a project and exploration geologist with a diverse set of complimentary skills. He has worked on projects as an exploration geologist in South America, Africa and Central Asia and as a surveyor measuring ice regression in the Arctic. His main areas of interest revolve around gold exploration, Geographical Information Systems and the financial appraisal of potential mining projects.

Nick has also worked for four years in the City of London, as a competitive analyst and knowledge professional covering financial services for an international consultancy.

Nick holds a Masters degree in Mineral Project Appraisal from the Royal School of Mines, London and a bachelors degree in Applied Geology from the University of Leicester. Nick joined SRK Exploration as an Associate Geologist in August 2005.

Antony Benham MSc, BSc, FGS

Principal Exploration Geologist

Antony has more than 20 years of experience in the management and implementation of geological survey and mineral exploration technical assistance programmes, commissioned assignments, and training and technology transfer projects.

In recent years, Antony’s work has focused on leading major aid-funded and national government-funded development work in central Asia, in particular Afghanistan and Sudan. In Afghanistan, Antony was the Project Manager for projects building capacity at the Afghanistan Geological Survey and Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, whilst in Sudan he was Project Manager for projects working with the Ministry of Minerals and the Geological Research Authority of The Sudan to restructure and manage geodata in the country.

Antony joined SRK Exploration in 2018.


Joe Fifield 

Safety and Security Manager

Joe is a former British Army Special Forces soldier who, since leaving the military in 1996, has spent over 20 years working in the international security and staff safety sectors in over 50 countries.  He has more recently taken on roles with a number of exploration and mining companies, responsible for operational and OHS management on a mine in Mauritania and operational management and security for a gold project in east Africa.

Joe joined SRK Exploration in 2016 and now works at a Principal management level of strategic project planning and tactical field operations management in remote and resource poor project locations.  



SRK Exploration Services