New Brunswick’s Major Drilling Group International is one of the world’s largest drilling services companies primarily serving the mining industry. With an executive team centralized in the province’s ‘Hub City’ Moncton, this talented group helps buoy the area’s steadily emerging economic presence. Major Drilling’s head office/innovation headquarters employs more than three dozen of the company’s 3,500 strong global workforce.

The company’s international success is just one example of New Brunswick punching well above its weight in terms of global impact. New Brunswickers and their businesses, like Major Drilling, are often critical links in a supply chain connecting our province (and the Atlantic region) to the global economy. They are truly one of the province’s game-changers.

A Major League Team

Established in 1980, Major Drilling has grown to include field operations and offices in Canada, the US, Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

President and CEO, Denis Larocque, a Lamèque native, has great expertise in acquisitions, investments, public disclosure regulations, internal controls, and corporate governance. He has been recognized as one of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs in the region. Other New Brunswickers include Chief Financial Officer Ian Ross, Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel (and Opportunities NB board member) Andrew McLaughlin, Vice President of Technology and Logistics Marc Landry, and Corporate Controller Ghislain LeBlanc.

New Brunswick Businesses Combine for Global Success

Major Drilling has worked with Discovery Drill Manufacturer (DDM) for over a decade and purchases many locally designed drills from DDM’s Beresford-based manufacturing facility. DDM itself is now a leading manufacturer of hydraulic diamond drills for core exploration and preliminary shale gas drilling.

“We appreciate the innovative safety, environment, reliability, performance, and ergonomics measures that go into each drill we receive from DDM for a multitude of projects we operate,” notes Marc Landry.

As ONB’s Melanie Clark noted in a recent piece, “making a shift to increased purchasing of local goods and services means growth for New Brunswick companies and a stronger economy.” Indeed, the province’s thriving manufacturing sector benefits greatly from more local partnerships. Major Drilling’s efforts serve as a textbook example of supply chain optimization done right, with multiple New Brunswick-based companies including TRC Hydraulics, Kognitiv Spark,  Sunny Corner Enterprises, and MNP Digital now part of the company’s supply chain.

With TRC Hydraulics, Major Drilling is exceeding industry expectations through safer equipment. Because drilling comes with risks, equipping rigs with options to reduce rod handling is pivotal in safety innovation. “We are almost done with the first hands-free rod handler unit – the TrailBlazer SafeGrip. This development in safety for drilling operations is unique in the market giving us an edge with fully hands-free handling with horizontal ground stacking,” notes Landry.

Kognitiv Spark will partner with TRC Hydraulics to support the SafeGrip rod handler via its augmented reality solution for remote support. With that information, Major Drilling can examine how fixing rigs remotely will impact the number of shifts and downtime as on-site mechanics are in high demand.

ONB regularly acts as a liaison connecting New Brunswick companies to other local businesses to fill gaps in their respective supply chains. “I met with Rodney from Kognitiv Spark at an event hosted by Opportunities NB in 2018,” Landry explains. “It was there where I was invited to give a talk on Major Drilling’s global initiatives relating to logistics and innovation. This was a great opportunity to meet excellent local companies with the hope that we can develop working relationships, which is what happened here.”

Sunny Corner Enterprises is yet another well-established NB manufacturer now in Major Drilling’s potential network for drilling supplies including drill rods and supplies. MNP Digital, meanwhile, will help Major Drilling with a database solution, gathering drilling metrics and parameters to help understand how to increase shift productivity and assist in training beginning drillers.

Other global companies with local roots in Major Drilling’s partner ecosystem include Goguen Champlain Insurance (corporate insurance), BulletProof (IT support), and Tech Knowledge Solutions (billing/invoicing).

International Success from New Brunswick  

“Knowing what it takes for a company to successfully establish business overseas, there are many world-class companies and professionals in New Brunswick that help make it easy for a multinational like Major Drilling to maintain its head office here,” says McLaughlin.

Larocque notes what a tremendous honour it is to be part of a company that has become an international success story for New Brunswick. “We have found that we have great talent coming to New Brunswick to work here,” he says. “We’re seeing how having large companies is attracting talented professionals to return home or put down roots for the first time,”

“It’s an attractive prospect to work and live where the quality of life and quality of professional advancement match what I’m looking for in a company,” says Ashley Martin, VP of Operations who made the move to New Brunswick three years ago. “I’m proud to call New Brunswick home.”

Larocque says helping talent make New Brunswick home and witnessing the power of partnerships is heartening. “Our progress in joining with other New Brunswick companies shows how we all have capacity to compete on a global scale. When companies collaborate and seize opportunities that help amplify positive economic impacts in the region, it’s a true win-win for all involved.”

Do you have capabilities to support supply chain gaps for other New Brunswick companies? Contact ONB’s Business Growth Team for assistance in connecting you to great opportunities here at home.