Atlas Drilling is prepared for an increase in activity in British Columbia.
Could you please give us an overview of Atlas Drilling?
Since we aquired Atlas Drilling in 2006, we expanded from three rigs to just over 30. We originally only had skid-mounted drill rigs, but when we purchased F Boisvenu Drilling, this gave us underground and fly drilling capabilities which we have expanded dramaticly. We operate in most of the major mines in British Columbia, including Red Chris, Mount Polley, Gibraltar, and Afton. We also own Interior Helicopters, which makes it easier for us to supply an all in one service and a fast parts delivery. Equipment and parts supply is one of the biggest challenges to operating in remote locations.
What is Atlas’s competitive advantage?
Atlas relies on our experience, job completion and our cost effectivness for new business, but we also focus heavily on safety and enviromental responsibility, which is becoming increasingly important for mining companies and their shareholders. An added advantage to having so many drills is that we can always replace one very quickly if a signifagant repair happens which cuts any downtime, and this makes us more reliable to our clients.
What technology trends have you seen pick up in the past few years?
Drilling companies have recently focused on developing solid removal units that are able to filter the drill cuttings. Many of these units have closed-loop centrifuge systems that recirculate water so that much less water and drilling fluids are needed to complete a project.
What steps has Atlas taken toward developing community relations?
Particularly in remote areas, Atlas tries to hire locally and hold local onsite training sessions.
What is your outlook over the next few years?
The market is certainly more optimistic this year compared to the past few years. There may be a bit of a lag this year, but by 2018, drilling companies should be back drilling holes again. There are a lot of great projects in British Columbia that have had great drilling results but not enough funding, so hopefully they are able to move forward soon.