Spektra Drilling Canada Inc.

Moving mining and exploration drilling in eastern Canada
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Victor Martins

Between a price boom in mineral resources, advances in safety and technology and more liberalized regulations, the mining and exploration industry has grown significantly in the last decade. Spektra Drilling Canada Inc., the North American division of global Spektra Jeotek Inc., is making its name known as a go-to resource for companies in the bourgeoning mining and exploration sector. Employing a skilled local workforce, Spektra Drilling Canada focuses on health and environmental safety as an ISO-certified contractor.

Based in Toronto, Spektra Drilling Canada has 12 drill rigs specializing in diamond drilling throughout eastern Canada. The company has satellite operations in northern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. “We’ve been in business in North America for only about four years, but our parent company, Spektra Jeotek, which is based in Turkey, has been in the industry for more than 30 years,” explains Kerem Usenmez, general manager and president of the Americas for Spektra Drilling Canada.

Between all worldwide locations, Spektra Jeotek has more than 300 employees and operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The company’s operations and offices throughout the Americas are managed from a main office in Toronto, covering Mexico, Chile, Peru, the U.S. and Canada. As one of the world’s leading drill companies sought after for its drill services in the fields of mineral exploration, mine and planning operations and specialized earth sciences, Spektra Jeotek has more than 100 drill rigs positioned throughout the world.

Rapid North American growth

With the resources and wide-ranging experience offered by Spektra Jeotek, Spektra Drilling Canada has expanded in North America at a steady pace. Since establishing itself in Toronto in 2011, revenues have grown year after year for Spektra Drilling Canada.

In 2012 Spektra Drilling Canada acquired Forage Mercier Inc., Val d’Or — a highly reputable Quebec-based drilling company from Groupe Qualitas Inc. ¬— and other private shareholders. “The acquisition of Forage Mercier Inc. is a milestone for us as it is our corporate strategy to be one of the leading drilling companies in the world,” said A. Levent Okay, president and CEO of Spektra Jeotek in a press release. “This acquisition extends our geographic footprint to one of the world’s major markets.”

Adding Forage Mercier’s highly skilled and experienced local workforce in Quebec gave Spektra Drilling Canada the means to start tapping into greater market share in the region. With this acquisition, Spektra Drilling Canada now has more than 40 employees.

“Based on our reputation for safe service and quality performance and average employee tenure of 17 years, we’ve really grown since expanding to Canada,” says Usenmez. “After our first year, we increased our performance by three times and we doubled it again last year.”

Usenmez says the firm’s mining and exploration customers value the company’s experience and dedication to safety. “Our main asset is our people who have local knowledge and long-ranging experience,” he says. “But the other important aspect is how much we value health and the safety of our personnel as well as minimizing environmental impact. We have daily, weekly and monthly meetings to address health and safety and we’re a fully ISO-certified company. Because of this, we’ve had no major incidents and very few minor incidents on our jobs.”

Leveraging deep resources

While the majority of Spektra Drilling Canada’s work is in diamond drilling, the company has the backend resources and support from its parent company to expand into new forms of drilling contracting. Spektra Jeotek also manufactures all of its own drill rigs, parts and equipment.

“We entered Canada will diamond drilling at the forefront, but Spektra Jeotek specializes in a range of drilling contracting, including: surface and conventional core drilling, underground wireline core drilling, directional core drilling, reverse circulation and RAB drilling, auger drilling, grade control drilling and  much more,” says Christian Baril, director of marketing for Spektra Drilling Canada. “We have the resources to adapt and enter new channels if we see an opportunity.”

One avenue in which the company sees great potential is underground crawler-mounted drilling. “This type of drilling is new to Spektra Drilling Canada,” says Usenmez. “These new rigs eliminate the dependence of production sites and can move within smaller enclosures and from location to location within a few hours. We’re actively trying to expand this side of the business.”

Even in a somewhat depressed market, Usenmez says Spektra Drilling Canada remains ahead of the competition. “Our main challenge is to gather more market share in the areas where we already work,” he says. “We’re very aggressive and we’re seeing the results; we’re steadily growing while our competitors are shrinking. But we don’t want to take on too much because maintaining quality and safety are of the utmost importance to us.”

With major backing of Spektra Jeotek, local expertise and a company culture dedicated to health and safety, Spektra Drilling Canada is gaining ground and more market share in the mining and exploration field.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
MBI Drilling Products