DDH1 and Swick Mining have agreed to merge to become part of a world-leading mineral driller with a combined fleet of more than 170 high-quality rigs.
However, Swick stated the merger will not impact its separate plan to demerge Orexplore.
Swick Mining chairman Andrew Simpson said the merger makes strategic sense and combines high quality, experienced expertise in underground and surface drilling.
DDH1 managing director and chief executive officer Sy Van Dyk said the merger would create one of Australia’s largest drilling fleets.
“For DDH1, partnering with the leading underground diamond driller in Australia is a natural evolution to our specialised surface drilling operations and in line with the disciplined growth strategy we unveiled as part of our ASX listing in March 2021,” he said.
“We have enormous respect for what Kent Swick and his team at Swick have delivered to their customers over the years and are very excited about their potential growth as they deploy their engineering innovations and services which demonstrate a deep understanding of their customer requirements.
“Further, with a combined drill fleet of more than 170 drill rigs in FY22, which will be Australia’s largest fleet, we expect to secure meaningful synergies over time.”
Swick Mining managing director Kent Swick said he was very proud that his team have built a business that has been recognised and valued by another high-quality peer.
DDH1 has also expanded its fleet with the acquisition of three drill rigs featuring automated, hands-free capability including 100 per cent hands-free rod handling systems.
According to a company statement from the drilling services company, the rigs are due for delivery in mid-2022 and underpin the company’s confidence in a continued strong market outlook.
The new rigs feature advanced automation including hands-free technology and are in addition to the eight additional rigs already announced for delivery in 2022.
Van Dyk said the new rigs would help the company meet the demands of its clients.
“We continue to see strong market demand from our customers across Australia for DDH1’s industry leading drilling services, particularly across gold, iron ore and – increasingly – battery minerals,” he said.
“These three new rigs, which will be delivered mid calendar year 2022, are part of our organic growth plan for FY23 and build on the significant expansion of the DDH1 fleet that we have already announced.”
Van Dyk added that future-proofing the fleet with new technology would bolster a strong pipeline of contracts.
“Importantly, these three new rigs further modernise what is already the most modern surface drilling fleet in Australia by adding safety-enhancing automation such as hands-free rod handling,” he said.
“DDH1 is continuing to see strong demand from existing and prospective customers for our rigs across all three arms of our business – DDH1 Drilling, Ranger Drilling and Strike Drilling.
“Expanding our rig fleet is part of our commitment to pursue a disciplined growth strategy that allows us to safely deliver on our customers’ expectations alongside delivering value for all shareholders.”
Based in Perth, DDH1 employs around 1000 people and operates a fleet of 99 modern and highly specified drill rigs across its three brands – DDH1 Drilling, Ranger Drilling and Strike Drilling.