Geodrill – the largest fleet of multi-purpose exploration drill rigs in West Africa

by Kathrine Moore

A Geodrill DE710 working at Endeavour Mining’s Agbou Mine in Cote d’lvoire. Photos courtesy of Geodrill.

Geodrill’s vision is “to be the preferred drilling partner in Africa” providing exploration and development drilling services to mining companies of all sizes. Geodrill Ltd. [GEO-TSX] began operations in Ghana in 1998 with one drill rig. This year the company celebrates 20 years of success. Their drill fleet has expanded to 62 rigs operating in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Guinea, Togo, Mali and the African copper belt establishing a base in Chingola, Zambia. Mining companies that Geodrill services include Endeavour Mining and Kinross among others.

THE FLEET Geodrill “operates the largest fleet of multi-purpose exploration drill rigs in West Africa, which have the ability to perform both RC and core drilling.” This means Geodrill’s clients have the flexibility to “transition midway through a hole, based on their requirements with one rig, rather than having two rigs on site,” reducing costs associated with mobilization and demobilization and effectively reducing the realized cost per metre. Geodrill truck-mounts their DE 810’s and X300 Air-Core drills for savannah and desert terrain. Their multipurpose EDM2000’s, DE 820’s and core DE 710’s are crawler-mounted for steep and tropical conditions.

Geodrill also provides underground drilling services covering mineral exploration and grade control drilling using a fleet of LM 90 drill rigs. The company states, “The LM 90 modular diamond drill rig features easily interchangeable components, allowing for space constraints without sacrificing depth requirements. The standard
modular design includes a mobile platform in order to service larger underground mines, making movement between drill sites efficient.”

The company also operates a fleet of Booster and Auxiliary compressors that allow drillers to achieve greater depths when RC drilling. The fleet of support equipment includes MAN all-wheel drive trucks, Toyota Landcruiser 4×4’s, and purpose-built Rod Carriers.

HIGHLY TRAINED WORKFORCE

Geodrill has developed training programs in order to provide personnel with the required skills and knowledge to perform drilling to the highest levels.

The company operates Drill Training facilities at its Kumasi and Ouagadougou bases which are equipped with the latest training aids, literature and training staff. These programs are designed for new and existing personnel: drill, maintenance and transport crews to ensure the highest safety and technical procedures are followed. “Training and refresher training courses are an integral part of what we do at Geodrill,” says the company. “Drilling requires a high degree of skill and technical competence to ensure both an efficient drill program and accurate results.” Geodrill states that the profitability of any given project is determined in part by how effectively the drill rigs can be operated and the samples collected. Management at Geodrill maintains that their training and monitoring programs facilitates effective drill programs.

To date, Geodrill has approximately 1,000 employees organized into two departments: Operations and Administration. Geodrill employs very few expatriates; approximately 90% of its employees are contract workers, while the remaining 10% are permanent employees. Geodrill’s states that a large number of contract employees allows management to efficiently manage the size of its workforce in the event of a slowdown.

The company says that it “has historically compensated its workforce at the high end of the industry range.” The company’s remuneration and benefits package and the extensive training programs have contributed to the company’s strong employee retention rate.

Geodrill’s centrally located state–of-the–art workshops manufactures up to 300 different, frequently replaced parts including drill rods ensuring their fleet is well-maintained and reducing downtime for their clients.

Geodrill has invested in various corporate social responsibility projects over the years including providing power generators and water bores to local communities, school and orphanages. The company also built a local boxing gym (Bridge Boxing Gym) in Ghana and has been a generous sponsor of the National Boxing Team and the Azumah Nelson Foundation in Ghana.

For the six month period ended June 30, 2018, revenues totalled us $51,533,000.00 or $0.09 per share. As at January 12, 2018 Geodrill had 42.4 million shares outstanding, 45.5 fully diluted with a market capitalization of $90 million.

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