Hughes scores production drilling deal at Anglo mine

HUGHES Drilling has been awarded the contract for blast-hole production drilling services at Anglo American’s Foxleigh coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
Hughes scores production drilling deal at Anglo mine Hughes scores production drilling deal at Anglo mine Hughes scores production drilling deal at Anglo mine Hughes scores production drilling deal at Anglo mine Hughes scores production drilling deal at Anglo mine

Courtesy, Hughes Drilling

Justin Niessner

Mobilisation of two new blast-hole rigs to the project site will begin in the 2012 December

quarter, with onsite operations of the first rig starting in January 2013.

The project is expected to generate revenue for Hughes over an initial three years through a rolling 12-month contract.

Foxleigh produces around 2.5 million tonnes per annum of pulverised coal injection coal for the steelmaking industry.

The mine’s production capacity is 3.3Mtpa of product coal and estimated coal resources are approximately 290Mt.

Hughes has taken delivery of, or has outstanding contract backed orders for six new blast-hole rigs this financial year, bringing the company’s total blast-hole fleet size to 33 rigs.

The Queensland-based company’s blast-hole rig fleet is almost entirely Reichdrill rigs – a business decision the driller says contributes to its high relative productivity, efficiency and low cost maintenance.

Earlier this month, Hughes cited expansion of its blast-hole services for a skyrocketing 1680% increase in profit to $A8.5 million compared to $478,000 at the same time last year.

Soaring profitability over the fiscal year was largely attributed to coal industry demand for blast-hole drilling used in mine production rather than exploration drilling.

Hughes said blast-hole operations had not experienced any reduction in demand following the recent movements in coal prices and indicated that full-year contributions, new contracts and sales to third parties all experienced growth over the 12-month period.

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