Swick adds $80m of contract extensions as drill rig demand surges

Swick Mining Services has experienced increasing demand for its drill rigs, reflected by a pair of contract renewals that bolster its order book to $160 million.

The renewals, with Northern Star Resources and the Bluestone Mines Tasmania joint venture, are worth $80 million to Swick.

Northern Star has renewed Swick’s underground diamond coring contract at the Jundee gold mine in Western Australia.

Swick already has 10 underground diamond drill rigs employed full-time at Jundee, a figure that could increase to 15 with the two-year extension.

The scope of the work is for around 712,000m of underground core over the two years, which would potentially require 12 rigs in the first year and up to 15 in the second year.

Northern Star’s contract renewal may also be extended by an additional two years beyond the initial scope.

Swick managing director Kent Swick said the Northern Star contract allowed it to continue an association with Jundee gold mine that started in 2007.

“Swick has extensive experience at the Jundee mine and has also successfully drilled some very deep exploration holes in recent times that are world class in underground terms,” Kent Swick said.

“We have been able to maintain high production rates across a wide range of scopes, and many patented Swick drilling systems are in use at this mine.”

Swick has been chosen by Bluestone Mines to provide underground diamond drilling services at the Renison tin mine in Tasmania, subject to execution of the contract.

The contractor, which already has three underground diamond drill rigs at the mine, expects the new agreement will add two years to its contract, with a possible two-year extension. The scope of work involves around 115,000m of underground core over the two years, requiring up to three rigs.

Swick has drilled more than 280,000m of underground core at Renison since 2009.

Kent Swick noted improving market conditions for the drilling contractor off the back of the contract extensions.

“Importantly, the renewals reflect a trend towards increasing demand for drill rigs that Swick has been experiencing,” he concluded.

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