Versatility is the name of the game for More Core Diamond Drilling Services Ltd. The company’s crews and drills can provide diamond drilling exploration services in many different terrains, weather conditions, rock formations and deep hole environments.
“I saw some opportunity to get set up around Stewart in the Golden Triangle in British Columbia,” owner and President Sean Pownall says. “We now have drills in Sweden, Peru and the United States. We can run as many of our drills as is needed, depending on the season and the clients’ wants and needs. If a client wants exclusive access to our drills and best people, we will do that for them.”
Pownall has a family background in mining and prior experience and training in places such as northern British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada, as well as in Mexico, South America and Sweden. He launched More Core in 2006 with two drills and has grown it to approximately 150 employees, 14 drills and an ability to tackle projects worldwide.
“In the Golden Triangle, there is a lot of steep terrain and tough drilling conditions,” Pownall says. “We can take on those scenarios and have developed a good reputation for drilling where others can’t and getting good results.”
Tools of the Trade
More Core’s services include underground drilling, track drilling, fly drilling, skid drilling and ice drilling. To support its underground drilling operations, the company has drills that use electric motors or diesel engines depending on the situation, and additional equipment such as man carriers. As for track drilling, More Core has hydraulic drills that can be mounted on tracks to facilitate moving.
More Core can provide fly drilling services because its drills are heliportable and can be broken down to fit in float or fixed-wing aircraft. On the skid drilling side, More Core’s drills are mounted in winterized drill shacks supported by winter pump shacks. The company’s ice drilling services developed through its experience in drilling on glaciers and frozen lakes.
More Core’s extensive equipment fleet allows it to work in a range of challenging environments. The company maintains an arsenal of diamond drills for diverse applications, and it works with manufacturers that can provide replacement parts to job sites when necessary.
“Working in extreme places being able to provide helicopter-supported drilling, steep terrain drilling and drilling on ice allows us to produce where other companies may not,” Pownall says. “Not a lot of drilling companies can do what we do. We are always looking for areas where there aren’t a lot of other drillers set up, finding that niche and working in difficult conditions.”
Perhaps more important than More Core’s experience and equipment is the proactive approach it takes to safety. The company believes safety should be its No. 1 priority, which is why it requires all of its employees to participate in common core training programs, which is currently the standard in Ontario.
“Safety is getting to be a bigger and bigger concern, which is why use the common core program to train our young drillers,” Pownall says. “We keep a close watch on our young guys, start them as helpers so five or six years down the line they will be drillers who can understand the system, drill safely and produce. We don’t just hire anyone. We look for people that have drilling in their blood, and we develop them the right way.”
Environmental concerns are another primary focus for More Core. The company has taken steps to ensure it isn’t leaving behind drill cuttings and is using water sustainably and responsibly.
“We’ve invested in contained water systems and vacuum trucks and have been actively testing new systems that some of our suppliers provide,” Pownall says. “We are trying to be more environmentally sensitive and leaving less of a footprint.”
Pownall believes opportunities in Nevada, California and Arizona will present much growth potential. The company is in the process of finalizing its licenses in the United States and working on getting into full-time positions with major mining companies that drill year-round.
As it grows in the United States, More Core will continue to invest in newer machines with engines to meet emissions standards. From there, the company will be able to take its state-of-the-art equipment to projects anywhere in the world to drill.
“The majors want a system that will keep people safe as well as produce,” Pownall says. “For us, safety is priority over production because we believe we produce better by putting safety and people first.”