How we secured our latest Ranger 7 drilling rig

March 8, 2013


In early 2012 with six drilling rigs contracted out to maximum capacity, the workforce stretched in all directions and nearing the end of an 18 month drilling contract, Ranger Drilling’s managing director Matt Izett concluded on one word – Expansion.

Double shifting two drilling rigs, “Ranger One” and “Ranger Two” at Clients mining sites, and with new contract commitments approaching the requirements became clear; an additional specialised rig was needed.

Extensive board meetings uncovered the upcoming contract scope and the realisation that a small drilling machine would be best suited to perform grade control drilling at the Clients mine site. Research on the immediate availability of an economic machine began with carbon footprint a major factor in choice.

The Schramm 450GT was discovered to be small, light and robust with a minimal carbon footprint and economic fuel usage for its work rate. With an average drilling depth of 60 metres deep the 450GT proved capable of drilling up to 200 metres, which would provide great flexibility. The minimum delivery time for the Schramm 450GT from Australian manufacturers was twelve months and to service the Clients contract something had to be done immediately.

An international search began and Ranger Drilling’s services maintenance engineer Andy Watts proved valuable when he discovered some second hand rigs in Baltimore Maryland (USA) through Schramm America’s inside sales manager Robert Bruce.

“We were running out of time and needed an immediate solution. The Schramm 450GT Andy found had become available for purchase on the 8th of May; five days later I was on a flight to inspect the machine with business colleague Richard”, said Mr Izett.

The previous owners had kept the 450GT rig in excellent condition and with only 268 operational hours, the machine was run up and checked over to confirm it was suitable for the contract back in Western Australia. ‘Ranger Seven’ had been located.

With final transport and shipping logistics also confirmed, the financial transaction for the 450GT was processed and the rig commenced a two-week journey from Baltimore to Fremantle, Western Australia. It had taken a total of 74 days from when the rig had become available for purchase to reach the other side of the globe.

When the rig arrived into the Ranger Drilling workshop it was modified in-house to RC and RDS specifications, including all standard Australian safety equipment.

The rig is dubbed “Ranger Seven” and is contracted to Clients for the next twelve months. It is small and manoeuvrable and suits the geological and topography nature of the Pilbara region.

Into the future, Ranger Drilling Services is looking to increase the number of these rigs to its fleet in order to service additional grade control contracts.

“We are a perfect-sized company to accommodate large jobs, but also provide a personal approach and the flexibility to modify processes toward improvement, which is imperative in such a sensitive work environment”.

“We have proven Ranger Drilling Services is a can do company and if a client asks, ‘can you?’ The answer is yes we can”, said Mr Izett.