Swick Mining Services has established a solid operational track record as one of the biggest and most innovative drilling services contactors ever to come out of Australia (over half of 2011 income from operations in Western Australia alone) and is renowned throughout the industry for a keen engineering aptitude that is continuously reshaping the face of rig design, as well as drilling/production practices, through ongoing R&D.
This reputation has earned the company wide acceptance with a broad array of different mining concerns in precious/base metals (gold leads the pack at about 75% of activity, with copper in a strong second place ahead of the other various metals like silver, tin, and iron ore). With dedication to both safety and the caliber of personnel retained for operations, Swick Mining understands that the key to success in the difficult world of mining services consists in more than just cutting-edge hardware and methods; it is about nurturing career-minded professionals who can deliver results under the typical pressures presented by what are often difficult operating conditions.
A serious respect for cultivating business contacts/relationships, from the work site to the back office, with a focus on the kind of accommodative flexibility that ensures client retention, has won Swick real loyalty among mining houses large and small (Gold Fields, Newmont USA/Canada, and Rio Tinto to name just a few of the big boys to benefit from the company’s services). Swick hasn’t wasted any of this sector momentum either, aggressively branching out to operational frontiers in North America (around 9% of total income in 2011, more than doubling from 2010), where the kind of premium quality mining services Swick is able to provide have found an eager market amid the U.S. and Canada’s burgeoning and extensive mining architecture.
Underground mining is an area where Swick has carved out a particularly nice foothold, with radical engineering advancements like their fully integrated mobile drilling platform, the Swick Mobile Diamond Drill, shattering existing design limitations found in typical configurations. This jumbo mounted underground rig is surprisingly agile for its size and yet sets the industry standard when it comes to safety, versatility, value, and overall productivity. Indeed, just moving and getting the machinery into a choice position is often a time and motion problem that plagues production, but with the Swick Mobile Diamond Drill rig, not only does its optimal mobility shave considerable time off transiting between targets, it requires considerably less logistical support as well, even offsetting the need for more rigs/personnel due to its exceptional prowess.
Full underground production services are also available to the company’s clients, with the backbone of blast hole, grade control, ground support, and rise/slot drilling being comprised of the Tamrock Solo 1020 top head hammer longhole rigs employed by Swick. This solid hardware presence is furthered by Swick’s ability to deliver extensively tailored management services and an experienced field staff that has secured safe production time and again. With so much money on the line and safety being a major concern, Swick’s clients have come to regard the company with much esteem, as their professionals really know how to maintain, manage, and get the best results from the machinery, both from a production and safety/maintenance standpoint.
The same engineering muscle that created the Mobile Diamond Drill is brought to bear in the other main service area Swick has established a presence in, surface reverse circulation drilling. The company’s increasingly strong hand in surface reverse circulation drilling technology, showcased by their Swick RC Drill rig, has made the company a force to be reckoned with. The Swick RC Drill (based originally on the Schramm 685 setup) was designed from inception to excel at productivity while bringing sweeping new levels of safety and ease of use to the fore. Extremely modular, with an automated rod handling system that saves a bunch of time (not to mention operator stamina), and even a remote controlled air support truck (again shoring up the amount of personnel and labor required, while reducing the time it takes to execute a given sequence), the Swick RC Drill rig features one of the strongest air systems in the industry today. Rocking a silenced air compressor that runs at 2,700 cfm with a 1k psi booster, all on the remote controlled support truck that can be kept away from the drill, thus greatly increasing safety by reducing air/heat hazard, this setup is a marvel to anyone who has ever looked closely at the RC drilling workflow.
With superior personnel, superior equipment, and a no-nonsense approach for catering to the client’s needs, it’s no wonder Swick has seen a meteoric rise in the ever more crowded mineral drilling services sector. The recent expansion of North American operations, through incorporation of operating units Swick Mining Services (USA), Inc. and Swick Mining Services (Canada), Inc., as well as the positioning of its fleet of underground diamond drilling equipment (consisting of their Swick Mobile Diamond Drill and more traditional skid mounted rigs from Atlas Copco) for some explosive growth in NA, has piqued the interests of investors across the board. This fleet has the ability to handle hole sizes from BQ to HQ (at depths up to 8,200 feet) and the mobile rigs are especially good for doing both definition and exploration holes (up to 4,265 feet BQ, with the skid rigs able to handle much deeper targets).
The company has taken an unprecedentedly strong stance on operational health and safety, developing one of the most sophisticated management systems for the task in operation today. Workers love the company as much as the clients do, but it is the shareholders of Swick who are seeing the biggest bounce out of all this, with 2011 results showing an after tax net profit of some $3.8M on $115M in revenue (compared to a net after tax loss of $10.1M in FY10).
Precious/base metals and raw commodity inputs are growing more attractive in a global economy that is less certain, and Swick is poised to generate substantial shareholder returns by riding that swelling wave of mineral development. For more information on this mineral drilling contractor, characterized by a strong commitment to continuous engineering/R&D progress, please visit the Swick Mining Services Ltd. website located at: www.SwickMining.com
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