Swick Mining Services has reached a major milestone by drilling 10 million metres of diamond core.
The feat includes a total of 329,172m of diamond core in Queensland, including at Dugald River, Pajingo, Mount Gordon, Osborne, Merlin, Lady Annie and Lady Loretta.
Swick started drilling diamond core in 2004 with just one mobile underground drill rig at a nickel mine in Kambalda, Western Australia.
Since then, the company has grown to have operations across Australia, the USA, and Portugal, with 76 drill rigs, 560 employees, and revenue in excess of $135 million.
Swick is now ranked in the top five mineral drilling contractors globally, based on mineral exploration drilling services revenue.
Swick managing director Kent Swick said the diamond drilling milestone was a major achievement for a drilling contractor with humble beginnings.
“I founded Swick in 1995 and over time realised we needed to step it up as a contractor by getting into an area that offered more stability and longer-term contracts, which I identified as underground diamond drilling,” Mr Swick said.
“After taking a look at underground diamond rigs that were available to be purchased, which were all skid based, I couldn’t understand why a mobile rig on wheels didn’t exist.
“So after discussions with our workshop foreman, Derek Montauban, we decided to convert a single boom jumbo we had as a long hole drill into a mobile underground diamond drill rig, and soon started work at the Beta Hunt Nickel Mine in Kambalda for our client Reliance Nickel in June 2004.
“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.”