Epiroc to consolidate exploration drilling tools manufacturing in Canada

Epiroc says it is to consolidate the manufacturing of exploration drilling tools in Canada, gradually moving its base from North Bay to Montreal and Sweden over the course of 2020.

The decision, taken on the day it announced its March quarter results, will affect about 65 employees in North Bay, Ontario, it said, with the production facility eventually being converted into a distribution centre. It reflects the challenging business climate that existed “prior to the global pandemic, which now reinforces the need to increase efficiency and strengthen the company for the future”, Epiroc said.

Employees that are part of the local engineering, sales, and product management team dedicated to Rock Exploration will remain at the North Bay facility, according to Epiroc.

The company already manufactures products dedicated to mineral exploration in Montreal thanks to the 2019 acquisition of Fordia, a company that provides exploration drilling tools such as diamond bits, down-the-hole tools, drill rods and drill casings, as well as water treatment systems and pumps, used by mining houses and drilling contractors.

Epiroc said investments will be made to support the transition of those product lines starting in May 2020 and to be completed during the year.

The production for Ground Support and its SwellexTM product line will, meanwhile, be transferred to Sweden.

Denis Landry, Vice President Exploration at Epiroc, said: “Manufacture of our world-class products, like the HobicTM core bit series and the Epiroc wireline drill rods, are moving to our Montréal facility as part of our overall plan to become more efficient and gain synergies.

“We regret that we have to let people go, but we must adapt to changing market conditions so the company is strong for the future.”