Colorado, USA-based Connors Drilling and sister company Sanderson Drilling of Western Australia—both subsidiaries of Tarn Drilling Co.—purchased the assets of the Surface Diamond Division of Swick Mining Services of Australia for $17 million. Through the acquisition, Sanderson will immediately assume the revenue from the ongoing contracts formerly held by Swick, including work with Barrick Gold. Tarn Drilling also owns CDU Drilling, based in Perth, Western Australia.

“The mining and mineral industry is experiencing record demand for exploration drilling services and Sanderson and Connors view this acquisition as a prime opportunity to continue our growth,” said Steve Swallow, managing director, Sanderson Drilling.

Included in the assets are four KWL 1600 multipurpose drill rigs, compressor/booster packages for surface reverse circulation drilling, five LF-90D crawler-mounted drills, associated support equipment (trucks and spare parts), the existing complement of employees that operate and support the KWL rigs, and existing contracts in Australia where the KWL rigs are currently operating. All of the LF-90D crawler rigs will be allocated to Connors Drilling for work in North America where the more compact, crawler style drills are favored for low-ground-pressure access to drill locations in sensitive environments.