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10 Facts About Major Drilling on Its IPO 25th Anniversary

By March 5, 2020May 31st, 2022No Comments

In 2020, Major Drilling celebrates the 25th anniversary of its Toronto Stock Exchange initial public offering listing. Denis Larocque, Major Drilling President and CEO, officially opened the market on March 5, at the TMX Broadcast Centre, to commemorate the milestone. Major Drilling has become the leader in worldwide specialized drilling since its IPO in March 1995 (TSX: MDI).

“After 25 years of being public, we are now positioned as one of the strongest players in our field, ready for the next exploration upturn in the mining industry as mining companies will look to replenish their reserves,” Larocque said.

Twenty-five years of thriving public trading indicates how Major Drilling is a company with lasting financial and operational success. Major Drilling’s 1995 Annual Report reads: Our aim is to grow in a controlled manner enabling us to effectively service our customers and contribute to our bottom line success.  Clearly, that aim struck its target and continues to hold true today as Major Drilling embarks on its next 25 years of dominance as the worldwide leader in specialized drilling.

As a top provider of mineral exploration drilling services, Major Drilling is recognized throughout the mining and drilling industry for the quality, safety and results it demonstrates in the sector.

Our management team remains focused on dominating specialized drilling, while creating innovative solutions to meet customers’ demands and improve productivity,” Major Drilling Board of Directors Chair David B. Tennant, said. “At the same time, we look to diversify our services within the drilling field to reduce our exposure to mining exploration cycles.”

Major Drilling executives and staff celebrate the 25th anniversary of its initial public offering by opening the market at TMX Group's Broadcast Centre on March 5, 2020. Major Drilling is traded as Toronto Stock Exchange ticker symbol MDI.

Together with Board Chairman, David B. Tennant (right), Major Drilling President and CEO, Denis Larcoque, displays a plaque commemorating MDI's original listing date, March 8, 1995, during the company's 25th anniversary IPO listing celebration.

10 Facts About Major Drilling on Its IPO 25th Anniversary

1. Major Drilling undertook its initial public offering in March 1995. It’s an industry leader with a unique business model, strong balance sheet and good valuations.

2. Toronto Stock Exchange ticker symbol, MDI, is Major Drilling Group International Inc.’s symbol on the public exchange.

3. Major Drilling is a 40-year-old company with a CEO who leads with prudent, forward-looking financial management.

4. Major Drilling Group International Inc. celebrates its 40th anniversary the same year as its IPO 25th anniversary—two milestones sustained by a management team with more than 1,000 years of combined industry expertise and experience.

5. Major Drilling continues to find opportunities to grow and leverage its specialized drilling expertise through acquisitions including the 2019 purchase of Timmins, Ontario, Canada-based Norex Drilling.

6. Major Drilling endures to outperform and outlast other mineral exploration drilling companies. During a bull market in gold, mining companies will spend more on exploration, increasing demand; however, in slow times, demand drops off leaving drillers to adapt to market conditions. Major Drilling has proven adept at navigating the cyclical nature of the mining industry over decades of ups and downs.

7. Major Drilling is a sound investment with good corporate governance. It has a prestigious and increasingly diverse Board of Directors guiding the company’s welfare.

8. Innovation and technology are key to future success. In 2020, Major Drilling introduced its Trailblazer The innovative program offers the ability to digitize and automate drilling solutions for a better future. By incorporating impactful technologies, paired with a commitment to environmental and social responsibility, Major Drilling is positioned to remain a global leader as mine discovery and development evolves.

9. Safety is a foundational part of any successful drilling operation. A new Critical Risks Management initiative is taking prevention strategy to new levels. Joined with TAKE 5, the 10 Lifesaving Rules, and Major Drilling’s ongoing culture of Safety in Action, the CRM program provides controls deemed necessary to prevent potential fatalities, serious incidents and/or injuries that come from most common hazards and risks encountered in daily business tasks.

10. A big part of the future of mining is diversity and inclusion. Major Drilling is developing how women in drilling, who are an undertapped, wanted, and needed part of the workforce, can grow mining and drilling into the future.

Denis Larocque, Major Drilling President and CEO

Major Drilling performs a variety of specialized drilling services on the surface and underground using innovative technologies and an up-to-date fleet.

In Major Drilling’s Critical Risks Management program, every critical risk identified has a set list of critical controls. When an employee encounters a critical risk logo during their shift, they will need to stop and complete the corresponding critical control checklist.

A Strong Foundation of Good Financial Management

When Major Drilling introduced its IPO, Major Drilling operated 180 drilling rigs and had 400 employees. Responsible growth and expansion have been hallmarks since inception. Today Major Drilling operates more than 600 rigs with 2,500 employees who excel at specialized drilling.

In 2019, half of Major Drilling’s revenues were aligned with gold exploration projects, 25% with copper, and the remainder with other commodities like nickel, zinc as well as battery and rare earth minerals.

Over the years, Major Drilling has positioned itself as one of the largest specialized drilling operators in the world by leveraging its main competitive advantages: skilled personnel, specialized equipment, robust safety systems, long-standing relationships with the world’s largest mining companies and access to capital.

Pictured is the Major Drilling EF-100 drill used at the record-breaking 3,467-meter Discovery 1 deep drill hole, now the longest diamond drill hole in Canada, at Osisko Mining’s Windfall Project site in Québec.

This positioning is strengthened by the senior management who have experienced several economic and mining industry cycles.

Major Drilling’s achievements are made possible through a proven history of responsible financial oversight, sensible expansion and conscientious management.

“We are very proud of our accomplishments and international growth the IPO has enabled,” Ian Ross, Major Drilling Chief Financial Officer, said. “We feel we are well positioned to remain the leader in specialized drilling and continue our success as one of the largest drilling services companies in the world.”

In 1995, mineral exploration drilling revenues from Major Drilling’s operations during that fiscal year were $12,688,000(CAD).

The sales strategy in Canada during that period was to continue to service long-term customers and optimize the use of its resources. At that time, international interests included Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, and the Guyana Shield region. Today, Major Drilling is registered in 20 countries on 6 continents. Revenue for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2019 was $384.8 million.

A Winning Corporate Strategy

Today’s corporate strategy reflects the same commitment to clients’ success and a strong balance sheet, just as it did 25 years ago, with key additions: worldwide leadership, diversification, modernization through technology and innovation.

In the mining industry, companies rely on contract services with Major Drilling to perform mineral exploration. This work, to drill into soil and rock formations to obtain core and rock chip samples, aids mining company geologists. The high degree of expertise and technical competence required for exploratory drilling is where Major Drilling’s much-needed services come into play. It’s through specialized drilling that mining companies can determine if a mineral deposit is sufficient to justify establishing a mine or determine the extent of additional reserves.

This Major Drilling drill supervisor inspects core drilled at a Major Drilling America gold exploration drilling project.


• Be the world leader in specialized drilling
• Diversify services within the drilling field
• Maintain a strong balance sheet
• Be the best in class in safety and human resources
• Modernize fleet with innovation
• Expand footprint in strategic areas

Few mining companies own or operate their own exploration drilling rigs because their level of exploration activity and their demand for drilling rigs can vary widely year by year and region by region. Instead, mining companies usually contract drilling requirements to contractors such as Major Drilling and look for specialized expertise.

As a worldwide company, Major Drilling is aligned with high-profile specialized drilling projects led by senior mining partners. Such projects include development of the vast Oyu Tolgoi Mine in Mongolia in partnership with Rio Tinto, and block cave pre-conditioning work at Freeport Indonesia’s Deep Mill Level Zone underground mine that is part of the Grasberg District, the world’s largest gold mine.

Along with its 25th IPO anniversary, in 2020, Major Drilling celebrates its 40th anniversary of expansion and worldwide specialized drilling dominance from 1980-2020. The company’s experience and expertise have shaped Major Drilling’s presence in the mineral exploration and mining industry, ensuring continued growth and success.

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Begin a premier drilling program with Major Drilling by contacting Corporate Business Development Manager, Kevin Slemko, today.

Heli-supported drill rig transport is set up by Major Drilling teams in Indonesia demonstrating specialized drilling equipment and expertise of teams there.