Swick hits 10 million metre drilling milestone

Swick Mining Services’s total depth of diamond core drilling has passed 10 million metres.

Though Swick was founded in 1995, the company didn’t start diamond drilling projects until nine years later.

The total depth achieved by the company encompasses all diamond drilling projects embarked on by the contractor since it started its first such operation in 2004 with a single rig at an underground nickel mine in Kambalda, Western Australia.

For point of comparison, 10 million metres is equivalent to nearly 80 per cent of Earth’s diameter — the company expects to reach the full 100 per cent within the next two years.

Swick managing director Kent Swick commented on the company’s growth since it turned its focus to diamond drilling at that time.

“We had no idea how productive that concept would be but soon found we were drilling as much core in one week as the previous contractor was drilling in a month,” he said.

“The popularity of the mobile drill rig was spreading like wildfire and soon we weren’t able to build them fast enough, so in October 2006 Swick listed on the Australian stock exchange with 18 rigs and an annual turnover of around $35 million dollars.

“Twelve years on and after experiencing a boom and bust in that time we now have a fleet of 76 rigs and a turnover in excess of $135 million.”

Swick’s diamond drilling extends to base metal, battery metal and precious metal projects. The company is now working across 130 projects for nearly 60 clients including big names such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Kirkland Lake Gold and Newmont Mining.

The company recently secured renewals at the Jundee gold mine in WA, Broken Hill silver-lead-zinc mine in New South Wales and Renison tin mine in Tasmania.

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