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Safety, reliable productivity, quality and efficiency. These are the four key aspects of SMW Drilling’s business that have satisfied its drill-and-blast customers for almost 20 years.

Working from its headquarters in Mount Thorley, New South Wales, the company provides responsive drilling services to mines throughout NSW and Queensland, with plans to expand to Western Australia.

“We are blasthole drilling specialists with a predominant focus on mining production drilling services,” SMW Drilling managing director Ben Chaniago told Australian Mining.

“We provide personnel and management that is highly skilled and focused on drilling-specific safety and production.”

Guided by its “adding value” approach, SMW Drilling takes pride in adding value at every stage of the drill-and-blast process.

The company’s services include the ability to drill holes ranging from 57mm to 311mm in diameter utilising rotary and percussion drilling methods. It also carries out sample drilling services that includes in-pit reverse circulation drilling, and supplies drill rig and ancillary equipment for hire.

SMW Drilling partners closely with its clients to identify and implement solutions, which leads to greater productivity and efficiency.

“Where there are mismatches between planning expectations and conditions on the bench, such as geology and scheduling delays, we work closely with functional managers like client drill-and-blast supervisors and tech services to give useful feedback and data-driven insights to then pass onto the planners and managers,” Chaniago said.

Focused on being nimble, reliable and responsive, SMW Drilling focuses on building a foundation of robust systems and data processes to achieve safe and efficient drilling programs.

“We pride ourselves on using technology in our systems,” Chaniago said. “This includes the ability to use data in real-time and the ability to use that data for effectiveness.

“We collect and closely analyse data. Then we share these insights with the clients as it often identifies small areas for improvement that can add up over time.”

SMW Drilling managing director Ben Chaniago.

Chaniago said that while the company’s primary focus is to provide good-quality holes that lead to good fragmentation and lower downstream processing costs, it offers a broad range of services.

“We have the ability to supply labour hire in the form of operating capability, maintenance capability, or technical services capability, (as well as) in-house engineering – we’ve got the ability to rebuild or manufacture new parts of componentry, and complete equipment rebuilds and overhauls,” Chaniago said.

SMW Drilling’s number-one focus is the customer experience, an area in which the company has received positive feedback. 

“There are other companies that drill holes and do what we do with the same sort of equipment, but our focus has always been that customer experience and being able to accommodate variances and to be adaptable to any sort of work environment,” Chaniago said.

SMW Drilling also understands the value predictable results have in terms of customer outcomes.

“Clients want something they can plan around,” Chaniago said. 

As such, the company takes a proactive approach to keeping the customers informed about what to expect and then focuses on meeting those expectations.

“We want our customers to apply useful, data-driven insights and feedback that positively impact operations and assist in developing the knowledge of client personnel,” Chaniago said.

The company’s drill-and-blast service ties in purposefully with its other mining services.

“Our in-house engineering aligns with supporting the production drilling services,” Chaniago said. “The labour hire part also supplies and supports the production drilling services.”

SMW Drilling is proud of the sustainable growth it has demonstrated in its 18 years of operation.

“We find that with smaller mines and their owners there is less understanding of drilling, and we are able to fill this knowledge gap,” Chaniago said. “We have a lot of knowledge and are happy to share it. 

“Often conversations early in the planning process can lead to savings or less surprises later on. We like to engage (with our clients) early on.

“This comes in the form of helping them understand the resourcing needed to get the metres they need, especially when geology does not match what was planned for.

“Then (we) help clients gain clarity on their types of open cut mines, delays and getting alignment at different levels of their organisation through the use of better data for decision-making.”

SMW Drilling’s efficiency in mobilisation and investments in technology and data-driven production and decision-making all come together to make the company stand out from the crowd in a large Australian mining industry.