Ausdrill to tread warily in Americas

THE new managing director of mining contracting heavyweight Ausdrill has emphasised the company will take a measured approach to expansion in the Americas – traditionally not a happy ground for listed mining or drilling contractors – after it completed its $271 million acquisition of Americas-bound Barminco.

Ausdrill to tread warily in Americas Ausdrill to tread warily in Americas Ausdrill to tread warily in Americas Ausdrill to tread warily in Americas Ausdrill to tread warily in Americas

Mark Norwell with Ausdrill CFO Theresa Mlikota

North American-listed contractors - as well as their peers from other parts of the world - have had moderate success at best in their backyard, with its patchwork of regulatory regimes, safety standards and labour laws.

Australia has been the home of dominant publicly and privately owned mining and drilling contractors, with a few exceptions (such as Canada-based Redpath), and they have all built off a domestic market that has favoured mine development and production contractors, as well as the more traditional infrastructure construction contractors, since the 1980s.

Africa has been the major expansion market for Australian contractors over the past 20 years. In that time there has been no comparable penetration in the Americas despite the heavy presence of Australia...

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