12/02/2019 - 15:23

Imdex extends Flexidrill assessment

12/02/2019 - 15:23

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Mining equipment supplier Imdex has extended its option to purchase New Zealand company Flexidrill and its patented technologies to the end of 2019.

Bernie Ridgeway says reducing drilling costs remains a major challenge.

Mining equipment supplier Imdex has extended its option to purchase New Zealand company Flexidrill and its patented technologies to the end of 2019.

The secondary option period will allow Imdex to conduct further development and testing of Flexidrill’s products and establish its supply chain and manufacturing requirements.

Flexidrill’s two technologies are the Corevibe and Maghammer.

Imdex said trials of Corevibe at its test site in New Zealand had achieved a productivity gain of 33 per cent over conventional coring technology.

The Maghammer technology allows RC drilling to be run without compressed air.

Imdex expects to trial commercial prototypes of Corevibe with clients by the end of the 2019 financial year and Maghammer trials will follow in the first half of the 2020 financial year.

The company first entered an option agreement with Flexidrill in January 2018 and has now twice extended the option period.

Imdex managing director Bernie Ridgeway said he was pleased to further progress Corevibe and Maghammer technologies towards commercialisation.

“These unique technologies have the potential to deliver substantial economic and productivity benefits to our clients globally, which is becoming increasingly important as new discoveries are likely to be under ground cover, deeper and require more drilling,” he said.

“It is widely recognised within the industry that drilling costs represent approximately half of global mineral exploration expenditure.

“Reducing these costs has been a major challenge which is likely to intensify given increasing safety standards, environmental restrictions and greater average hole depths.”

Imdex said that if it exercises the option to purchase Flexidrill, it expects the technologies to provide additional global revenue and earnings during the 2020 financial year and grow within 12 months of the exercise date.

The consideration to enter the secondary option period varied from the original agreement of $NZ5 million split equally between shares and cash to $NZ3 million in shares to allow for $NZ2 million cash applied to additional product development.

The rest of the option agreement remains the same.

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