The Early Years
In the first twenty years of its history, Major Drilling pursued a strategy of expanding geographically as a conventional drilling company. We acquired several mineral exploration drilling companies in Eastern Canada between 1980 and 1985. Our strategy in these acquisitions was to buy equipment at a reasonable price, strengthen the Company by adding talented and experienced personnel and increase the geographic reach and client diversity of the business.
Formed with the acquisition of Ideal Drilling (1980) Ltd., based in Bathurst, New Brunswick.
Acquired Dominik Drilling (1981) Inc., based in Val d’Or, Québec.
Acquired Hosking Diamond Drilling Ltd., located in Rouyn, Québec. In the same year Kennebec Drilling Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Maine Diamond Drilling, Inc., became affiliates of the Company.
In the early 90s, we expanded into Mexico and South America. Moving into these markets required us to reconsider our expansion through acquisition strategy because there were few local drilling companies that met our standards. Instead of purchasing local drilling companies as we had done in the United States and Canada, we incorporated foreign subsidiaries and grew them organically.
Incorporated Majortec Perforaciones S.A. in Venezuela.
Established Major Drilling de Mexico S.A. de C.V.
Incorporated in the Guyana Shield Region of South America.
Incorporated in Argentina.
Beginning in 1997, our focus turned to expanding our Canadian operations beyond Eastern Canada and also looked to Australia, with its strong tradition in the mining sector. Acquired the J.T. Thomas group of companies, which operated primarily in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Acquired the Australian-based mineral exploration drilling company Pontil Pty. Limited. This company, through a subsidiary, also carried on business in Indonesia. Lastly, entered the manufacturing and distribution business after acquiring control of UDR Group Limited.
Commenced drilling operations in Chile and completed the acquisition of the Midwest group of companies in Canada.
Acquired a Tanzanian company.
In 2000, we shifted our focus from geographical expansion to a strategy of dominating specialized drilling. The shift in strategy was based on the realization that most of the ore bodies that will be discovered and explored in the coming years will be difficult to access. We then began a substantial build up of our specialized capabilities and our specialized fleet, complimented with strategic acquisitions of specialized drilling firms.
Acquired, from Ausdrill Limited, certain drilling assets and contracts located in Eastern Australia and New Zealand.
Incorporated a subsidiary in Mongolia, Major Drilling Mongolia XXK.
Acquired the drill rigs, related equipment, inventory and drilling contracts of Raematt Drilling Pty. Ltd. in Australia.
Acquired the drill rigs, related equipment, inventory and drilling contracts of Dynatec Corporation Drilling Service, in the Western United States. This acquisition has allowed the Company to establish a presence in a large and important North American mining region.
Expanded its presence in Southern Africa by acquiring the Longstaff group in Southern Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
Standard & Poor’s Canadian Index Operation added Major Drilling to the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Company’s Chilean subsidiary purchased an exploration drilling company, Harris y Cia Ltda., and acquired the assets of Paragon del Ecuador S.A.
Acquired Forage à Diamant Benoit Ltée based in Val d’Or, Québec.
Acquired North Star Drilling LLC. and also entered the environmental drilling services sector by acquiring SMD services of Huntsville, Alabama.
Acquired Bradley Group Limited based in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec.
Acquired the assets of Taurus Drilling located in Canada and the USA, representing the company’s entry into the underground percussive market.
Acquired Norex Drilling Limited located in Timmins, Ontario.
Acquired McKay Drilling located in Perth, Australia.