Energold Drilling Corporation

“A World-Class, Fully Integrated Drilling Company”

The energy industry is not any different than most commodity-based industries and drilling services have always been classified as highly skilled. The people with the skills and expertise to operate drilling equipment continue to be in high demand, as drilling companies are the first on the scene when companies decide to start exploring.

Energold Drilling Corporation is a leading global specialty drilling company that services the mining and energy sectors in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Internationally recognized for their social and environmental approach to drilling, they operate over 230 rigs in 22 countries worldwide and provide a comprehensive range of drilling services from early stage exploration to mine site operations.  Energold is one of the largest drilling service companies in the mineral and exploration sector.

Energold was incorporated in 1973 as Windflower Mining Ltd. and began as an exploration company by Frederick W. Davidson, President, CEO and Director. Davidson received his MBA from the University of British Columbia in 1970 and his Chartered Accounting designation in 1971. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Davidson reorganized Windflower Mining in 1994, with a portfolio of properties located in the Dominican Republic, part of the divestiture from TOTAL, at which time the corporate name was changed to Energold Mining Ltd. and in 2005, was named Energold Drilling Corp.

In the process of bootstrapping its own projects with proceeds of contracting these drills out for local mining peers, Davidson realized significant growth in a niche market, previously overlooked.  As exploration programs in remote locations with limited infrastructure and access to heavily forested properties was increasing, more companies were forced to look at the uncharted frontiers. Existing mineral drilling technologies and services available in the market were inadequate and the industry needed a drilling rig that was highly mobile and would leave a minimal environmental footprint.  Energold’s frontier drills can be broken down into components and easily mobilized with the heaviest component weighing in at only 400 pounds, versus the conventional rigs that typically weigh easily more than two tonnes.

Becoming the leader in frontier drilling

Jerry Huang, Manager, Investor Relations, joined Energold in 2011 and has over 10 years of experience in financial services and banking experience within the natural resource sector with a focus in client advisory, negotiation tactics, financial markets and risk management.

“In its early beginnings as Energold Mining Corp., a junior gold exploration company with projects in Dominican Republic, management purchased an underground rig hoping to use it long term on their project,” says Huang. “Unfortunately, the project was not successful, however, it provided Energold with plenty of experience to adapt for surface drilling equipment traditionally used underground.”

Energold started marketing these drill rigs actively to mining companies.  “As opposed to automating the rigs, Energold relies on manual labour and simple design with the philosophy that anything should be easily replaceable to maintain high productivity. “It was a challenge convincing potential customers to use Energold rigs initially,” says Huang. “Compared to the norm of one and two storey tall brightly coloured and largely immobile rigs, Energold rigs were modular, a fraction of the height and did not need road permitting or clear cutting of trees to make space for operation.”

Once clients started to try the drills out, they were instantly convinced that this surpassed conventional rigs. “Our rigs and work ethics have positioned Energold as the leader in frontier drilling as we offer more effective portable drill solutions with minimal impact to the environment, providing tangible benefits to local societies through job offerings and training.  This was the first phase of a multi-year strategy for growth,” says Huang.

Combining global presence with local knowledge

Energold quickly capitalized on the opportunity to differentiate itself, and went from being an exploration company to a mineral drilling services entity.  Since 2011, as part of their long-term strategic plan, the company aggressively expanded the business from minerals alone into energy and water drilling on a global scale. This expansion included an increase from three rigs in early 2006 to over 246 rigs operating in over 25 countries worldwide today.

“We combine our global presence with intimate local knowledge through our extensive local crews to ensure your project is a success,” says Huang. “Energold is a global drilling group with focus on efficiency, value to our clients, minimizing impact on the environments and bringing social benefits to the areas we work in. We focus on hiring and training locals to leave a lasting benefit in the frontier African and developing countries we work in.”

Energold owns and operates a parts manufacturer in Chihuahua, Mexico and a design and assembly facility in Little Hampton, United Kingdom.  In 2011, Energold acquired Bertram Drilling Corp., a diversified specialty drilling company that serves the energy sector.

In 2012, Energold was awarded as the “Most Innovative Company in British Columbia”. Energold also won the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in the Mining and Metals category and was named “Canadian Innovators at Work Series” in 2014 by The Globe and Mail Inventor Series among a myriad of other accolades in the industry.   Energold continues to look at new growth markets and remains versatile in expansion plans.

Capturing the highest standards of craftsmanship and quality service

“Service and commitment to our customer is something that comes straight from the top and our CEO leads by example day to day,” says Huang. “A client’s success on a project if they discover the next gold belt means we will likely extend our drill job with them, making it a win-win vested relationship.”

By providing high quality service and productivity, clients get results faster which could potentially help them raise capital for further development. “With our knowledge of rig design and product feedbacks from both customers and our own experiences in the field, our service and products capture the highest standards of craftsmanship and quality that is necessary when working in barren frontier projects,” says Huang.

The demand for the drilling and exploration business exceeds $11 billion globally as noted by Mineral Economics Group (SNL), 2014. This figure is down nearly $21B from the period of 2011-2012.

“We anticipate this number to drift around this level until an external shock such as an increase in commodity prices or shortage of acquisition targets for majors start to hit their resource base,” says Huang. “Keep in mind this figure isn’t just drilling expenditures but also entails consulting costs, engineering costs, and more.”

Providing a positive social and environmental impact in global communities

With increasing resource nationalism and disinterest in foreign companies that do not bring value to locals, more mining companies are finding it necessary to work with contractors that understand local culture and have good reputation of providing jobs and training to locals. Energold has a tremendous advantage, as their philanthropic approach is recognized on a global level.

“We saw the need to employ local personnel and work to establish strong and meaningful relationships in the communities in which it conducts its business,” says Huang.

“Energold is a leading corporate citizen amongst our peers. Our entire business model revolves around our mobile drilling rigs which relies on the intimate knowledge our local workers have of the landscape and access of the local area.”

Energold provides significant social benefit to the communities they work in.  This approach has helped build support for the corporate initiatives of Energold’s customers, providing them with a more lasting cooperative environment.

“We have a driller academy set up in the Philippines where we train our drillers and provide them with a mechanical training that is a lifelong skill, and a full HR policy for cross training drillers in different operations and graduating them to drill supervisors and eventual managers,” says Huang. “Drilling takes years to perfect, fortunately our rigs are designed to be user friendly and take less than half the time to learn on, compared to conventional rigs.”

On any given project around the world, Energold employs between 15-25 local labourers or ‘drill helpers’ to assist with projects.  Engerold’s corporate social responsibility objectives include a joint initiative with a major mining company.

“Our Haiti Bridge Project was completed in coalition with Newmont Mining Corp.,” says Huang. “The community had limited transportation access to the other side of the river. Energold decided to step in and donate the material to build the towers for the bridge, the main cable anchors, and the time to drill and install the anchors.” This project provided a direct benefit to the local community in terms of employment and infrastructure development. Energold also donated four water wells in the state of Chihuahua across impoverished communities lacking water supply.  The holes were drilled to depths of over 80m installed with hand pumps.

While mining continues to be a challenging industry, Energold is striving to diversify its business and does so successfully with manufacturing drill rig products catering to water drilling, geotechnical drilling, and geothermal renewable energy businesses.

“Service and commitment to our customer is something that comes straight from the top and our CEO leads by example day to day,” says Huang. “A client’s success on a project if they discover the next gold belt means we will likely extend our drill job with them, making it a win-win vested relationship.”

Energold’s most important asset and its strategic advantage is its people.  Their global team sets them apart from the competition. Their success means they are growing rapidly in many different drilling markets, by application and geographic region: In mineral exploration drilling: coring and RC; in energy: oil sands coring, seismic shot-hole and geothermal drilling; as well as manufacturing at our plants in the UK and Mexico.

Proudly a Canadian company, Energold is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and is publicly traded on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange under the symbol EGD.