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Deal on BLAST DOG caps off record year for IMDEX

Leading global mining-tech company IMDEX has announced record results for 2022 as it revealed an initial three-year agreement with a tier-one mining company in the Pilbara for its breakthrough mining support technology BLAST DOG TM.

The agreement is the first commercial application of IMDEX’s BLAST DOG TM , which has been rigorously tested and developed in Australia and internationally including in Canada and Chile.

The BLAST DOG TM is a commodity agnostic blast hole sensing and physical measurement technology that will provide near real-time orebody knowledge and is semi-autonomously deployed for logging material properties and blast hole characteristics at high spatial density across the bench and mine.

It delivers unrivalled pre-blast rock knowledge and a 3D view into the bench which can facilitate improved blast designs and optimise explosive costs. The BLAST DOG TM also offers ESG benefits via the potential for precision mining and optimisation of downstream processes such as grinding, blending, and stockpiling.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer Paul House said the commercial application of BLAST DOG TM, and the contract win was a defining moment for IMDEX.

“This is homegrown technology designed to provide meaningful, quantifiable benefits for the mining industry,” he said.

“We are not aware of any other technology that has the capacity to produce the same quantity and quality of pre-blast data and provide as large an impact on downstream processes.

“IMDEX has the goal of developing technologies that make all mining better. Our BLAST DOG TM technology delivers the mining industry data rich near real-time orebody knowledge, unlocking opportunities to deliver precision mining practices and improvements to productivity, safety and mine-to-mill efficiency.

The BLAST DOG TM contract capped off a year in which IMDEX delivered record revenue, record earnings and continued margin expansion.

The company reported record revenue of $341.8 million, a 29.3 per cent increase on the same time last year.

Record EBITDA of $104.9 million was an increase of 38.9 per cent on last year.

Net Profit After Tax of $44.7 million was up 41 per cent on last year.

Net cash of $24.2 million was down 49.3 per cent on the same time last year but followed the acquisition of MinePortal 3D visualisation software to accelerate IMDEX BLAST DOG™ for mining production, and an investment in Datarock Holdings Pty Ltd, which develops image machine learning and artificial intelligence software to extract value from geoscientific images.

The company declared a full-year, fully franked dividend of 1.9 cents per share taking its full year dividend to 3.4 cents per share representing a 42 per cent increase on the prior year. Operational highlights compared to last year included a record number of rock knowledge sensors on rent, up 27.1 per cent; IMDEX HUB-IQ™ connected revenue up 58 per cent; the release of next generation sensors and software including the IMDEX OMNI™ and IQ-LOGGER™ core technologies and release of the fully automated aiSIRIS™ software.

Mr House said that in a year that was defined by a combination of positive market demand offset by challenging labour and supply chain considerations, the results demonstrated the resilience of the company’s business model, which supported its objective of outperforming market growth as well as the responsiveness of its global teams.

“The strong uplift in earnings has been driven by an increase in integrated solutions to customers and the increasing percentage of revenue coming from our higher-margin sensors and software business,” he said.

“At the close of FY22, rentals and subscriptions represented 58 per cent of revenue. Significantly, we achieved EBITDA margins of 31 per cent and our third consecutive year of margin expansion.”

Over the past year, activity was particularly strong in North America and Australia and increased in Africa and South America, with growing demand for drilling optimisation fluids. Activity in Asia and Europe maintained steady growth.

The underlying long-term demand drivers for the industry remained strong and IMDEX’s drilling clients reported strong forward-looking order books.

Resource company clients reported strong ongoing budgets and the industry’s commitment for new technologies remained the strongest it has ever been. Mr House said the company had conducted a review of its product portfolio as part of its ongoing disciplined approach to global operations and that several end-of-life products and early-stage projects would be phased out or no longer progressed.

One of these development projects is the COREVIBE™, which did not meet IMDEX’s engineering hurdles. MAGHAMMER™, also acquired as part of the Flexidrill transaction, was not considered core to the IMDEX strategy, and the decision has been made to pursue divestment options.

“IMDEX is investing in maintaining the strength of its core business and is accelerating its extension into mining production,” Mr House said.

“The company is well positioned to leverage the robust industry fundamentals and the unique competitive position its global presence, leading technologies and integrated solutions provide.”

The underlying long-term demand drivers for the industry remain robust:

  • Resource companies and drilling contractors are increasingly embracing innovation and new technologies to improve safety, enable remote working and achieve greater productivity.
  • New discoveries are likely to be under cover and at depth resulting in larger drilling campaigns.
  • The global commitment towards net zero emissions and the resultant demand for critical metals or the continued extraction of reserves is outstripping their replacement.
  • Large, mid-cap and junior resource companies remain well-funded to support medium-term activity.

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