PERTH-BASED Ausino Drilling Services was recognised for its success in operating in China when named as a finalist in the AustCham Westpac Australia-China Business Awards (ACBAs). The awards were a key component of the Australia in China Week held during April 2016 in various cities throughout China.

Ausino Drilling Services has been providing underground drilling services in China for more than 10 years and has recently expanded into surface drilling.

For 23 years the awards have been a means of recognising Australian and Chinese companies in the Greater China region. They recognise the success of businesses across a broad spectrum from small entrepreneurs to large publicly-listed companies who have demonstrated strong commitment and leadership to Australia-China business.

In 2016 there were a record 110 nominations for eight categories with Ausino a finalist in two categories - Business Excellence Award for Business Innovation, and Business Excellence Award for Construction, Infrastructure and Natural Resources.

Although Ausino did not win these categories, the company was well and truly recognised during the gala dinner in Shanghai.

Chairman Malcolm Powell said, “It is a great honour for the company to be selected as a finalist in two categories. We could not have achieved this without our dedicated employees who have worked so hard over the years to make the company what it is today. With a workforce comprising more than 95% Chinese nationals, we couldn’t be prouder at how quickly they have developed their skills to levels comparable to western operating standards. Mining is a tough business and drilling is regarded as the toughest sector and to do it in China and still be there after 10 years is quite an achievement.”

Ausino provides diamond core drilling services to the metalliferous mining in underground and surface environments.

Underground drilling services include obtaining core samples for mineral exploration, ore body delineation, ore body grade control and geotechnical assessment purposes. Drilling services can also be used to drill mine service holes for backfilling purposes, cable installations, scavenger holes for stope recovery and level connection holes for mine air, water and power.

Surface exploration drilling is provided mainly for mineral exploration purposes - retrieving core samples for geological testing for differing metal types.

Ausino personnel have vast experience within China and internationally, and are familiar with the many geological environments and mineralisation systems current today. With this knowledge, Ausino offers core drilling solutions to drill many varying ground types. In addition Ausino employees are trained to industry best practices of safety, quality and production to ensure consistency, dependability and value to our clients.

Malcolm Powell says Ausino offers the highest levels of safety standards, reliability, integrity and honesty. “Ausino serves to foster a spirit of openness, understanding and above all, quality and professionalism, all delivered with a friendly disposition.”

The company was established in Australia in June 2005 with the intention of registering a Chinese company to operate in the People’s Republic of China. Following registration of a Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise (WOFE) in Beijing, Ausino signed its first underground drilling services contract in March 2006.

Ausino’s success in China can be attributed to founder and managing director Campbell Powell and technical director Bill Rankin who, together with two other West Australians, established the company. “Campbell and Bill have met and conquered many challenges and hardships, especially in the early days. This tenacity together with the company’s trained Chinese workforce has made Ausino what it is today - a successful, recognised and regarded drilling contractor in the Chinese mining industry,” he says.

Ausino’s operations centre and base is in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, a city of approximately 1 million about a 3-hour drive west-northwest of Beijing. Malcolm Powell says choosing a minor city has brought the company closer to the ‘workings’ of China and this more ‘hands on’ environment has seen it quickly gain knowledge about the cultural differences in business and socially. Ausino also establishes an administration office, workshop and store facilities on each site a drilling contract is undertaken.

Ausino has current contracts at mining operations in Hebei, Jilin and Guizhou provinces, and has completed contracts in Shaanxi, Hebei, Guangdong, Gansu, Qinghai and Hunan provinces as well as Inner Mongolia.

In late 2014 Ausino entered the surface drilling service industry, an environment quite different from its traditional underground domain. Two new surface deep-hole exploration drill rigs were purchased - one rig on tracks and the other a man-portable allowing for portability in restrictive terrain.

In 2015, with the new rigs on order and following an intense pre-qualification, Ausino won a major surface drilling contract for a joint venture between a large international mining company and a major Chinese company. The contract was completed on-time, on-budget and with a 100% safety bonus.

Despite the downturn, Ausino has increased employee numbers to 160, including 154 Chinese nationals, and expanded its internal manufacturing and maintenance facilities enabling it to recondition and modify its fleet of 25 drill rigs and auxiliary equipment.

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