To learn from this experience, we, a team from "DRILLING SOLUTIONS," set out for the heart of the mining industry in Australia - the city of Kalgoorlie. Here is the "Super Pit," known as the deepest gold mine (until 2016). The population is about 30,000. And it's worth noting that RC drilling originated here.

One of the largest drilling companies in Australia responded to show us the highest level of drilling expertise. The company's name is "TopDrill," and the owner's name is Tim Topham. He is affectionately called "Toppie."

Overall, I didn't expect the company to be so open. But I was extremely surprised when I realized that the owner of the company, as well as each of his employees, willingly opened any door for us and provided us with detailed information about the company's activities. In short, in terms of figures, the company's approximate annual turnover is around 70 million US dollars. The staff consists of about 300 people. RC drilling brings in the main revenue for the drilling company (about 60%), while diamond drilling contributes around 40%.

The company primarily purchases drilling equipment through credit funds. For example, one RC "kit," which includes a drill rig, additional air truck, off-road vehicle, water/fuel truck, can cost around 3.5 million US dollars. Currently, the company has about 28 drilling rigs.

The software used for company management cost TopDrill around 4 million dollars. The salary of the highest-paid drill rig operator is about $1,500 per day, which amounts to approximately $45,000 per month. Overall, there's a lot of interesting information to write about the figures…

The obvious question arises - what is the cost of drilling?

The average cost of 1 meter of RC drilling can reach $60-70. For example, it may start at $40 per meter, but due to the reimbursement of all drilling company expenses, it practically doubles. In other words, in addition to the base rate, customers pay drillers for drilling time, the use of various types of compressors/boost compressors, casing pipes, lost drilling tools in the well during accidents, inclinometry, food/accommodation/travel expenses, and much more.

On the one hand, we envied such conditions, but on the other hand, we respected ourselves and other drilling companies working in our CIS region. It became evident that the Australian market, demanding the highest drilling standards in terms of speed, safety, and the availability of the most modern equipment, also creates adequate conditions ($).

Moreover, the climatic conditions clearly appear more favorable than in regions similar to ours.

Another important aspect is the provision of the entire production. In addition to having everything necessary on the shelves of suppliers, which affects the speed of equipment repairs, the price tag is also significantly lower than in the CIS market.

One of the interesting aspects of running a drilling business is the presence of a developed small aviation sector. Thanks to this, companies like TopDrill can afford to buy a 6-seater plane for $1.5 million and deliver personnel and spare parts by air to remote locations where drilling operations are carried out. By the way, this has allowed TopDrill to significantly reduce its expenses for replenishing warehouses attached to each drilling site. For example, the company calculated that before acquiring the plane, it had to spend around $300,000 to equip each drilling site with inventory of goods. This could amount to almost $9 million for all 28 rigs. After acquiring the plane, the company started spending about $100,000 on a warehouse attached to each drilling site, and the overall company savings reached approximately $6 million. So now, in case of any breakdown, the company can promptly deliver the necessary spare part to any location in Australia and even send a mechanic by the same plane to fix the issue.

But perhaps the most crucial recipe shared by TopDrill is the fully standardized equipment. Specifically, all rigs for RC drilling are identical Schramm 685, compressors are identical Sullair, trucks are Mercedes 8x8, and so on. Even details like refueling hoses and cranes are standardized. All of this, of course, leads to significant reduction in warehouse expenses, ensures interchangeability, and eliminates the need to train personnel for each individual rig, as it has already been learned on another rig.

Regarding the question of expanding the company and entering the CIS market, the owner of TopDrill stated that there is enough drilling volume in the domestic Australian market, and he is not considering such an option in the near future.

I would like to add that for such a company to exist in our region, it would require a client with similar Australian standards and price levels. However, their drilling volumes at present do not allow companies with global standards to survive!