Marco Garrido
Director of Operations and Sales
Energold Drilling
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View from the Top

Portability Paves Path to Efficient Drilling

By Pedro Alcalá | Mon, 04/04/2022 - 14:52

Q: How do you assess Energold’s 2021 results and what role did Mexico play in these achievements?

A: Considering that the pandemic raged on, 2021 was a particularly good year, not only for Energold as a drilling contractor but for many industry players too. We even saw new participants enter the market, which is telling of Mexico’s drilling activity. 2021 was great compared to 2020 and 2022 started even better. For Energold, this is not only the case in Mexico but on a global scale: we are present in 25 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and Latin-America.

Mexico has always been a key country for the company and 2021 was no exception, although markets in South America and Europe posted a stronger rebound, so the company prioritizes the expansion of presence and services in these markets.

Q: How has Energold’s competitive offer for drilling services evolved given the increased competition in Mexico?

A: Examining the international quality standard, Energold is still a main reference for drilling services, particularly regarding specialized projects because of our expertise in carriable services and frontier exploration. Mexico has a prolific market, so there is enough space for every company. Evidently, our market share has decreased somewhat because new drilling companies emerged, offering similar services with outstanding quality. Nevertheless, Energold has 16 years of exceptional experience in the Mexican market. Many companies recognize this know-how, not only in Mexico but also in leading jurisdictions like Canada.

Q: How would you characterize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mexico’s exploration efforts?

A: At the beginning of 2021, the pandemic affected service providers, exploration and production companies alike. Across the world, there was uncertainty in terms of how work would proceed. Given our global presence, local proceedings varied heavily. In Mexico, the pandemic had a particularly strong impact on the mining sector, although demand for Energold’s services persisted. Although exploration projects were halted, our clients still had programs to complete, so this stoppage acted as a detonator for activity: once operations restarted, all remaining meters of exploration had to be drilled. For months, Energold and other service providers remained inactive. However, projects had deadlines to meet. Once doubts regarding how to operate were resolved, operators shifted their focus to drilling, which generated a great deal of work for many of the mining industry’s contractors.

Q: How do the modular characteristics of Energold’s equipment make mining operations safer and how do they help miners de-risk underground mines?

A: Energold’s largest market share is on the surface, though we also work with underground mines to a limited degree. Our portable equipment is modular, featuring small and easily transportable components. When working with portable equipment, drillers can move much more nimbly and efficiently than by using heavy, large machinery. This is a key advantage, especially while working in restricted spaces, which makes such delicate operations a great deal safer for its users.

Energold offers solutions for different types of drilling, all catered to current market demand. The company offers core drilling, water well drilling, geotechnical services as well as geothermal and directional drilling for infrastructure and cabling. In Mexico, we mainly offer services regarding diamond and geothermal drilling, although the former takes most of our attention. Our renowned geotechnical experts, combined with our services using portable machines, represent a clear advantage. Most clients need to drill in difficult environments and our detachable and small machines can make this happen. The same is true for geotechnical studies. We also use this machinery in accessible areas because the machinery is easy to transport and has excellent production capacity.

Q: How have Energold’s operations been affected by the issues regarding Mexican concessions?

A: Producing companies with concessions to drill and exploration companies with new projects are driven by their budgetary priorities. Unfortunately, many are looking toward Mexico less than before. In the past two years, more money was invested in South America or the US rather than in Mexico because of the latter’s security issues and lack of commitment to the industry from the government. Nevertheless, thanks to Energold’s diversification, it can overcome slumps in local activity.

Q: What are the company’s main objectives for 2022?

A: We are starting many projects in Mexico. There are still many players presenting their developments in the country, which proves there will still be work for exploration, production and service companies. Furthermore, metal prices will remain high, propelled by global conflict situations. As a group, we want to continue consolidating our position with our clients. Our objective is not to sign a simple contract but to establish long-lasting relationships with our customers.

 

Energold Drilling is a leading global drilling solutions company that services the mining industry in the Americas, Africa and Europe.

Photo by:   Energold Drilling
Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Senior Journalist & Industry Analyst