The Business Year

Abderrahmane Mohamed CEO & Founder, Drill Corp Sahara Saudi


Abderrahmane Mohamed

CEO & Founder, Drill Corp Sahara Saudi


Mr Abderrahmane Mohamed is an entrepreneur who began his career running his family fishing business at the age of 18. His involvement in the mining industry began in 1996, working with the Societe Nationale indistruelle et miniere de la mauritanie (SNIM). In the early 2000s, Mr Abderrahmane founded Drill Corp Sahara, a drilling company operating in North West Africa. In the 2010s, he co founded Istithmar West Africa (IWA), a company operating in energy, heavy industry, and agro industry. During his almost three decades in the business, Abderrahmane Mohamed has developed a variety of skills and know-how that impose him as an exceptional expert with the mining and drilling industry.

"The sector is virtually untapped but could potentially turn into a huge resource for the Kingdom, considering the size of Saudi Arabia."
TBY talks to Abderrahmane Mohamed, CEO & Founder of Drill Corp Sahara Saudi, about the global mining industry, the company’s main activities, and the environment.
The Future Minerals Forum came as Saudi Arabia is working to become a global leader in mining. How would describe the potential of the Kingdom to establish itself as a hub for the mining industry?

The sector is virtually untapped but could potentially turn into a huge resource for the Kingdom, considering the size of Saudi Arabia. The Arabian shield has the same geological components and characteristics of the one in MENA region: both private companies and public institutions started capitalizing on the local mineral resources. We expect Saudi to reach 1 million ounces around 2023/2024, and if that production output is achieved, then we can literally call Saudi Arabia the gold country. Given Ma’aden’s plans, I believe there is great potential. The forecasted 500,000m to be drilled per year during the upcoming 3 years, are a hallmark of the commitment of Maaden’s to the vision 2030.

Can you elaborate on the company and its main activities?

Drill Corp Sahara Saudi was formerly the subsidiary of Drillcorp Western Deephole (DWD), an Australian Drilling Company. After years of rapid growth, the company raised funds to expand its fleet of drilling equipment to execute pipeline opportunities and started a process of modernization and internal restructuring. Today, Drill Corp Sahara Saudi provides a wide spectrum of mining and drilling services with a strong focus on iron, gold, diamond, and copper metals not only in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where our headquarters are based, but also in Mauritania, Senegal, and Guinea. DCSS provides a range of drilling services, including diamond, reverse circulation, water well, geotechnical, and environmental drilling to leading international mining companies. We have established ourselves as a leading player in the market. We are well-known for offering hydraulic drilling services, consulting in management, logistics, and drilling techniques. Over the years, we have successfully established solid partnerships, representing mining companies in Saudi and Mauritania.

How is the company positioned to capitalize on the untapped mining potential of the country?

We have built our reputation on the quality of our services. It is important to note that drilling, as an activity, is just part of the exploration industry. In Saudi Arabia, the sector is still at an embryonic phase. We believe the entire process of expressing the potential of the industry has to be built up in Saudi, from drilling services to analysis of sampling—the entire service chain has to be built up. We have been heavily focusing our activity on the traditional segment of drilling, though in a country such as Saudi Arabia, we have started looking at intensifying and expanding our business. Over the medium term, our aim is to create a full line of services. We want to cement our reputation and associate our brand as a one-stop shop within the mining industry. We have access to all the components that can make us successful: the know-how, technology, and skilled and competitive labor. In this context, we are aligned to support Vision 2030 to cultivate local talent and promote the concept of local content. We fully expect to expand our portfolio of clients. In the last decade, we have successfully gotten involved in key projects, establishing strategic partnerships with relevant players within the industry. Ma’aden, BHB Billiton, RioTinto, SNIM, Sabic, Glencore/Xtrata, amongst others are just a few of the companies that have relied on our skills and know-how to boost their operations.

What is your approach to environmental sustainability?

We believe in environmental sustainability; it is part of our values. We want to support the green transformation of the Kingdom and already have a plan. Our large workshop measuring 22,500sqm will use completely green energy sources. Everything there will also be recycled. We have a plan to invest USD2 million on this project. We are also pioneering the local industry and importing green technological solutions to Saudi. We are currently waiting to have new, sophisticated equipment delivered by 2024. We import the best technologies from Australia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, USA, China, India and Canada.

What are your main short term priorities and targets?

We will continue to adapt our operations to the dynamics that define the mining sector in the country and region. We plan to reaffirm our position as one of the most agile companies within the sector. The country is rapidly evolving; therefore we must adapt and be ready to provide the best solutions and services. We want to continue to grow alongside the industry while meeting the demands of the sector. As the minister of energy has said, the private sector—with its vision—will sustain the development of the industry. Over the short term, we want to contribute to the building and boosting of the vision 2030 in the mining sector, ensuring a sustainable growth not only for the company but also for the country as a whole.



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