Drilling into the Australian market

Firmly positioned as a global force in the OEM industry, Exploration Drill Masters is now digging deep into the local market.

Firmly positioned as a global force in the OEM industry, Exploration Drill Masters is now digging deep into the local market.

Exploration Drill Masters (EDM) is a well-established original equipment manufacturer (OEM) providing the mineral exploration industry with a large range of products such as drilling rigs, rod handling solutions and other associated equipment.

Established in 2008, EDM is located in Santiago, Chile, a central part the country’s thriving mining industry, which is one of the largest copper and lithium producers in the world.

Santiago is a highly industrialised city in Latin America’s most economically stable region and, as such, EDM has access to extensive resources, materials, and skilled personnel. Its position near major international ports means the company can utilise multiple shipping lines running vessels all over the world.

EDM general manager Nigel Smith told Australian Mining one of the company’s main strengths was the ability to engineer custom products and solutions for its clients.

“We have a large in-house engineering department and have become well known for being a highly innovative company that has been ahead of the curve with the development of ground-breaking solutions that greatly reduce or eliminate manual handling in the drilling process, as well as providing clients with custom rigs for special projects,” he said.

“As such, we have gained a reputation for being one of the most flexible and creative drill rig manufacturers in the industry.”

EDM has a wide range of standard top drive drill rigs for exploration, from 13,500kg to 43,000kg pullback capacity and with total flexibility to meet the clients’ requirements in terms of the configuration required.

The standard range consists of multipurpose, dedicated diamond and dedicated reverse circulation (RC) rigs, all of which can be skid-, track-, or truck-purpose-mounted and come with a vast array of options depending on the clients’ requirements.

“Our newly released EDM MK-2 Rod Feeder has been supplied into Australia with great success and continues to gain traction quickly,” Smith said.

“Australia is well known to have some of the highest safety standards in the drilling industry and the MK-2 Rod Feeder is an attractive prospect for contractors who are looking to upgrade their fleets to hands-free drilling capabilities as quickly as possible.

“We have worked in collaboration with a local drilling contractor in developing the MK-2 Rod Feeder and that has ensured that it is appropriate for Australian industry requirements.”

The Australian contractor carried out extensive field trials, allowing EDM to hone its design and ensure the unit offered drilling contractors exceptional performance in terms of productivity and longevity.

This is a crucial development for drilling safety, with EDM being the only independent system on the market that can work with any top drive rig and selected chuck drive rigs. More than 40 units have been ordered since its launch in 2021.

It’s a ‘plug and play’ safety upgrade with little or no modification required to existing drill rigs, allowing drilling contractors to upgrade their operations to the highest levels of safety without needing to buy new machines.

“Drilling safety has always been central to everything we do at EDM. It has been our main focus from day one, whether it’s with new industry developments or creating retrofit safety solutions for existing equipment,” Smith said.

“Every drilling contractor wants maximum metres drilled while keeping their crews as safe as possible and this is something that we have been able to achieve through our close collaborations with clients.”

EDM has also worked hard to develop its engineering resources and to design flexibility into its production model. The company’s dynamic engineering department understands that each project, location, and client is different and requires customised equipment to maximise performance on their specific projects.

“This level of flexibility also means we can deal more easily with industry changes and evolving supply chain issues and react quickly to changing market trends and stay ahead of the curve,” Smith said.

“These elements really set us apart from other rig manufacturers.”

EDM is currently in the development stage of creating a new mid-range top drive diamond rig to add to its product range. The rig will be an economically viable option for all contractors, small and large, allowing them to add multiple rigs to their fleet without compromising safety and productivity.

The company is also evaluating options to manufacture equipment in Australia to further enhance its offering and increase support to its growing client base.

“The last few years have been challenging, but EDM is on a strong trajectory of growth and we are very excited about the opportunities that are arising in 2022 and beyond,” Smith concluded.

This feature appeared in the May edition of Australian Mining.

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