Master Drilling buys 40 percent of Ava Solutions

Digital disruptors in the mining and engineering sector set their sights on global domination.

Master Drilling, a global leader in drilling services to the mining, civil engineering, and building construction sectors, has acquired a 40 percent stake in specialist data-driven mine fleet management company AVA Solutions. Master Drilling hasn’t provided details about the deal, but the company said it is financing the acquisition using internal resources.

AVA has been disrupting the mining and engineering sector since 2015. Engineers and founders Anton Fourie and Jason van der Watt, whose experience spans 25 years, were able to design AVA to deal with problems experienced on the production line.

Traditionally, digital fleet management solutions were only accessible to larger mines because costs and the capital outlays were too high. But AVA’s hardware-agnostic and quick-to-implement software costs significantly less to implement than other solutions.

Many mines are currently struggling to get real value from their digital initiatives, but they can now deploy a real end-to-end solution thanks to AVA Solutions. By condensing multiple technology layers into a single interface, the equipment can operate at its optimal performance level with little to no additional capital investment.

Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius said, “Technological innovation is a key priority for Master Drilling as we continue to support our clients to move down the cost curve, optimise their operations, and increase safety.

“Our investment in AVA is aligned with our strategy to diversify our services and invest in opportunities in our existing target markets with low capital requirements and short return cycles. We believe that AVA has great growth potential, and we look forward to supporting them through our existing client base and networks internationally,” said Danie.

Through the Internet of Things, AVA can create vast digital networks that drive communication between multiple hardware pieces in a mine and provide real-time data that empowers operations teams to make quick decisions. Upcoming developments for AVA’s scalable platform will focus on new elements, including scheduling and logistics, that will enable mines to improve the load and haul value chain’s productivity and the entire mining value chain.

Anton Fourie, co-founder and COO of AVA, said: “Through our partnership with Master Drilling, we are gaining access to extensive experience that will support the ongoing development of our platform and a footprint that will accelerate our international expansion.”