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IMDEX sticks with Flexidrill acquisition plan as drill tech trials continue

IMDEX has entered into a secondary option period from March 2019 – December 2019 to acquire New Zealand-based companies Flexidrill Ltd and Flexidrill Construction Ltd, and the patent-protected technologies COREVIBE™ and MAGHAMMER™.

IMDEX’s decision to progress the COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER towards commercialisation is based on strong demand from drilling contractors and resource companies, together with successful trials at IMDEX’s test site in New Zealand, it said. COREVIBE trials – validated by SGS, a world leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company – concluded a productivity gain of 33% over conventional coring.

The secondary option period will allow IMDEX to conduct further product development and testing, while establishing its supply chain and manufacturing requirements, Imdex said.

In relation to COREVIBE, IMDEX expects to trial commercial prototypes with clients by the end of its 2019 financial year. MAGHAMMER commercial prototype trials will follow in the first half of 2020.






“The consideration to enter the secondary option period was varied from NZ$5 million ($3.4 million, 50% cash/50% IMDEX shares) to NZ$3 million in IMDEX shares to allow for NZ$2 million cash being applied to additional investment in product development,” Imdex said. There are no other variations to the original option agreement or extended option agreement, as announced in January 2018 and September 2018, respectively, the company said.

“Should IMDEX choose to exercise its option to acquire Flexidrill in December 2019, the COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER are expected to provide additional global revenue and earnings during financial year 2020 and be earnings accretive within 12 months of the exercise date,” the company said.

IMDEX’s Managing Director, Bernie Ridgeway, said: “We are pleased to further progress the COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER technologies towards commercialisation. These unique technologies have the potential to deliver substantial economic and productivity benefits to our clients globally, which is becoming increasingly important as new discoveries are likely to be under ground cover, deeper and require more drilling.

“It is widely recognised within the industry that drilling costs represent approximately half of global mineral exploration expenditure. Reducing these costs has been a major challenge, which is likely to intensify given increasing safety standards, environmental restrictions and greater average hole depths.”

Flexidrill Construction said its MAGHAMMER technology followed successful deep hole field tests it carried out in the oil and gas industry. “It is a unique, magnetic down the hole hammer, compatible with any rotary rig and designed to drill open holes in virtually any formation, hard or soft,” the company said.

It can operate with any drilling fluid (including viscous bentonite solutions) so is ideal for overburden, often without the need for casings. This system is not affected by ground water, so flooded formations are also not a problem, according to Flexidrill Construction.

COREVIBE, meanwhile, offers productivity improvements through high penetration rates, extended bit life and reduced tripping of inner tube for blockages, IMDEX has previously said.