Swick powers towards merge with DDH1


Swick Mining Services will merge with DDH1 on a positive note in February, after a strong finish to 2021 saw it improve rig utilisation while continuing to grow its fleet.

The merger was announced in October 2021 to combine high quality expertise in underground and surface drilling, with a combined fleet of more than 170 rigs.

As of 2022, that fleet size is set to push into the 180s, as Swick took orders for seven more Gen2 and DeepEX rigs for its Swick Operations division.

The company increased its rig utilisation by 12 per cent in the second half of 2021, up to 57.9 full-time equivalent rigs and expects this to continue improving in 2022.

Conversely, the company joined the masses suffering from COVID-19 restrictions and felt a 3 per cent drop in shift utilisation for the second half of 2021 compared to the second half of 2020.

Swick managing director Kent Swick recognised the company’s strong business developments in 2021 while managing these COVID-related obstacles.

“Swick has successfully managed two significant corporate transactions in H1 FY22, while maintain business performance in a challenging environment,” he said.

“Our core underground drilling business has continued the positive momentum in FY21 and made a good start in FY22. However, COVID-19 both directly through close contact quarantine and illness, and indirectly through border constraints, continues to impact our business and the sector.”

This was not enough to dampen the company’s spirits as it demerges Orexplore and prepares to become part of DDH1 – the supplier of Australia’s largest drill rig fleet.

“Despite this, the fundamentals of our business remain very positive with increased demand allowing us to add to our drilling fleet,” Swick continued.

“Mobilisation of an additional eight drill rigs is scheduled for the second half and we expect the business to deliver a stronger second half performance as has been the case in previous years.”

Once approved by the Court on February 7, Swick will cease trading on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Swick-DDH1 merger is expected to be implemented on February 16.

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