Underground growth to get E-boost: DDH1 boss

‘Quite confident it’s going to be a game changer’

DDH1 Drilling’s new Swick E-Rig can be “a game changer” in the underground hard-rock drilling market, where the Australian mining services company is currently seeing its best growth prospects, according to CEO Sy Van Dyk.

The ASX-listed company, which saw its share price dip nearly 10% early today on negative investor sentiment linked to its softer-than-expected start to 2023, is predicting further expansion of its large underground diamond drilling fleet while it pushes to improve utilisation of available surface drilling capacity.

The electric underground drill, development of which started before DDH1’s acquisition of Swick Mining Services last year, won’t impact the group’s fleet capex for at least 12 months. However, Van Dyke said post full field testing planned for the second half of calendar 2024 he was “quite confident it’s going to be a game changer”, potentially replacing conventional diesel-hydraulic drills in the market.

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