Wallis Drilling says it has sold its RIG Technologies Reverse Circulation Logging While Drilling (LWD) business to explosives and blasting systems leader, Orica.
The RIG Technologies business includes, downhole behind-the-hammer geophysics sensors (gamma-ray and gyro), drill rig-based sensor platforms and a cloud-based data management system.
Wallis and RIG Technologies commenced as a joint venture in 2016, with Wallis acquiring the entire business in 2019.
Wallis says it successfully grown RIG Technologies and invested in the ongoing development of its LWD capabilities and associated products. At this point, the product suite is in the early phase of commercialisation and is being used by large resource companies, the company added.
The transaction delivers Wallis a solid return on its investment and provides significant upside sales exposure over the next five years under Orica stewardship, Wallis said.
Following the sale, RIG Technologies now forms part of Orica’s orebody intelligence category, within its digital solutions portfolio, alongside its recent acquisition of Hopper Industrial Group, a group of geophysics companies that specialise in mining and groundwater technologies and services.
RIG Technologies personnel, including 33 engineers, technical and field staff, will integrate into Orica. The business will continue to be led by original Partner and Director, Tim Hopper, with its operational and manufacturing activities remaining in Western Australia.
Wallis said: “RIG Technologies will independently continue to develop and deliver world-leading instrumentation and cloud-based technologies to help the mining industry obtain real-time geophysical and LWD data.”
Wallis and RIG Technologies will retain a five-year technical partnership to ensure continued testing and real-time deployment of the tools and other associated products in a field operating environment, it added.
Wallis Drilling Chairman, Graeme Wallis, said the sale enabled RIG Technologies to leverage its first-mover advantage and is overwhelmingly the best option for all stakeholders.
“The timing is right given where we have positioned the RIG Technologies business,” he said. “Orica has the financial resources, global customer base and distribution network to market and scale its product suite.
“For Wallis, the sale allows us to increase the rate of investment in our main drilling business. In recent years, strong organic growth has been accelerated by the design, manufacture and deployment of our leading range of Wallis RC and Mantis autonomous drill rigs.”
Wallis Drilling CEO, Mark Crumby, added: “Wallis has a successful history of innovation and commercialising new technologies for the mining industry. The development of RIG Technologies’ product suite, and its subsequent sale to Orica, is another example of this success.”
(Photo Credit: ‘csfoto – Christian Sprogoe photographer’)