Discovering the Value of Specialized Drilling Cost Vs. Price
The current mining upcycle is hitting its stride, and quality mineral exploration is a vital part of it. Facing the mining industry is a pending shortage in all commodities. Consequently, even with the economics of 2022 being defined by high inflation and the threat of recession, demand for specialized drilling services is on the rise. A significant way miners and explorers can ensure quality in their exploration programs is to determine the value of specialized drilling cost versus price per meter.
Choosing the Right Drilling Contractor
Drilling has many costs associated with it. Price per meter, with a low bottom line, is a typical format used to estimate drilling projects. However, with that model, overall costs can add up quickly when considering costs like supporting a drilling camp, salaries and expenses of geologists, and geological and geophysical costs. Other hidden fees can easily accrue.
So, how does the industry’s leading drilling contractor do it better? Well known specialized drilling contractor Major Drilling always quotes a clear, upfront price per meter with these added values:
- Industry knowledge and expertise
- Commitment to safety
- An innovative approach
- A robust network of inventory including supply of critical spare parts
- A superior hole completion rate
- Expert crews who are committed to their shifts and clients’ overall programs
- All which adds to better productivity (more meters per shift)
That means if a minor mechanical problem occurs, a low-price drilling team will likely stop work to source spare parts. In contrast, Major Drilling has strong financial resources and extensive parts inventory to keep drilling going and limit work stoppages. Project costs will move ahead steadily and as expected at the quoted rate.
Major Drilling is one of the largest drilling services companies in the world, registered in 20 countries on five continents. Its drilling experts have proven their specialized drilling expertise for more than 40 years. The management team alone has more than 1,000 years of combined experience. High-quality services provided each day at project sites across the globe are a testament to the company’s enduring excellence and capability.
Critical risk management, eliminating hazards, world-class safety programs, and a proven track record are further reasons customers can have peace of mind. A miner and/or exploration company seeking a quality specialized drilling contractor can have confidence in partnering with a company that puts best practices like these into action.
How to Access Higher Quality Drilling Services
After 2022 yielded significant growth in drilling demand throughout the industry, increases in exploration are on the upswing. Both junior and larger mining companies are in need of higher quality drilling services.
“Specialized work is the majority of what we do,” Denis Larocque, Major Drilling President and CEO, said. He defines specialized drilling as work that includes more than projects completed by a specific drill. “It also includes work that requires us to meet the rigorous standards of our customers in terms of technical capabilities, operational and safety standards and other related factors.”
So, how does a customer discover the value of specialized drilling cost versus price per meter? The first step in choosing the right specialized drilling company is to ask three key questions:
- Does the company have a diverse fleet of specialized equipment?
- Are expert personnel available to both operate and maintain drill equipment with readily available parts?
- Are continual innovation and safety improvements a priority to successfully navigate unique challenges at each project?
Focus on Fleet
Major Drilling has a fleet of more than 600 surface and underground drills. This includes large scale deep hole drills, drill and blast rigs, RC and a variety of underground rigs for specialized exploration and production drilling. In 2022, the company added 34 new rigs, with 19 being underground drills.
“After a strategic focus to diversify our services, I’m proud to say that we now offer one of the most modern underground fleets in the industry,” Larocque said.
Major Drilling’s growing fleet ensures customers have access across the globe. Branch offices are located in Canada, USA, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Talented workers help support long-term relationships of trust with valued clients. Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, Major Drilling successfully balanced demand and recruitment. The need to scale up from 2,500 to 3,800 employees came at a time when labor was scarce, yet teams met the challenge with enhanced training and recruiting. Empowered customers could maintain their exploration goals and get results during a difficult period.
A great partnership continues with Freeport-McMoRan at its Grasberg Mine in Indonesia where drill teams perform block cave preconditioning. Drilling teams support Rio Tinto at several projects including Kennecott Copper in the USA, at the Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina, at several locations in Australia and the Oyu Tolgoi Copper Mine in Mongolia. Teams drilled boreholes for cave tracking systems, part of large-scale block cave projects for Oyu Tolgoi.
Customers are also turning to Major Drilling as they explore for battery minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. Geothermal energy projects are similarly on the rise.
“Our customers have access to specialized drilling experts who can help them achieve their project goals,” Larocque said. He tells of Canadian teams who drilled the deepest diamond hole in the nation at 3,467 meters. In Mongolia, teams undertook some extremely deep 2,000-plus-meter PQ3 holes. Others drilled a record 1,985-meter NQ hole in Mexico. “We have an extremely high hole completion rate, and a great part of that can be attributed to our expertise.”
Continual Innovation and Safety Improvements
Whether a junior or senior miner, every mining company wants to run a drill program that is safe and productive. It should be expected that a drilling company is always focused on safety and continues to invest in equipping rigs with hands free rod handling systems.
At Major Drilling, rigs undergo modifications, many of which include more safety sensors than ever before. Advantages are reduced training time as the rigs can provide more data and information to the driller. Having more sensors optimizes production and improves hole completion, which is key for geologists.
“When we provide all the right tools for our drillers, everyone wins,” Larocque said.
From battery minerals to standard commodities, the need to spend exploration dollars wisely on quality specialized drilling services is more important today than ever. Learn more at majordrilling.com.
Drilling Price Per Meter VS Cost Per Meter – YouTube video