Buying exploration drilling capacity

In these days when contract exploration drills are hard to get, companies are increasingly buying their own rigs, or even drilling contracting companies, as in the case of Ashburton Minerals. Ashburton has just moved to full ownership of Transdrill after its wholly owned subsidiary, Trans Pacific Gold, acquired the remaining 50% of the private drilling company. Transdrill provides drilling services to the company at its Cuiaba Gold Project in Brazil.

The company says “The move to full ownership of Transdrill provides [it] with secure access to a drilling rig at a time of competing demand for drilling services in Brazil, in particular for exploration rigs. Transdrill operates a versatile RAB/Aircore/RC rig running 3-in diameter 3 m rods. A truck-mounted compressor rated at 900 cfm @ 350 psi enables drilling of holes to 150 m depth. The rig is operated by an experienced Australian driller using trained local offsiders.

“The acquisition represents a significant cost saving to the company in light of the 7,000 m drilling programme envisaged for the current field season and which commenced earlier this month with the drilling of the large Teixeirinha gold anomaly. Ashburton sees the acquisition of Transdrill as an important step in securing the viability and independence of its exploration programs in Brazil.”