A family-owned company with 50 years’ drilling experience

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Back in 1963, two Perth drillers – Marty Wallis and his son, Jamie – set up Wallis Geochemical Drilling. In 1965, the company was incorporated as Wallis Drilling Pty Ltd.

Marty was working for the Bureau of Mineral Resources and was told if he bought a rig, then the government would give him a contract. Jamie joined the new company and father and son began their drilling partnership at the former Rum Jungle uranium mine site about 105km south of Darwin.

Marty and Jamie continued drilling all over the state including Coolgardie, Norseman and Laverton.

By 1974, they had drilled their way back to Perth and Graeme joined the family business and the drilling industry. He became a co-director of the company and maintained a managerial role while Jamie and Marty remained drillers and technical specialists as well as company directors.

Wallis Drilling. Innovative from the very beginning.

Wallis Drilling’s first invention was Marty’s patented reverse circulation system for drilling below water tables in soft sediments.

In 1974 came an idea which revolutionised the industry. Wallis was drilling in the mineral sands sector and Jamie was looking for a way to increase productivity and avoid sample contamination which was an issue in auger drilling. To solve this problem, he designed and built a completely new method of drilling; the Wallis Aircore system. It set a new standard in the industry and Aircore technology is now used all over the world. This was the first commercially successful Air Reverse Circulation drilling system in the world.

Since those pioneering days, Wallis Drilling has continued to expand and innovate. Our drilling services now include Aircore, Reverse Circulation and Mud Rotary, Diamond Core and Multitech.

Today, the company has over 55 drill rigs, 250+ employees and operations in selected international markets. It is still 100 per cent family-owned.

My father and brother always said ‘We’re not drilling a hole in the ground, we’re drilling for a sample’. So from day one, we always aimed to give the client exactly what they wanted; a good, clean hole and as uncontaminated a sample as possible.

I’d shudder when I’d hear companies back in the old Rotary Air Blast days; they’d be bragging about getting a thousand metres a shift. And I thought is that company really looking for holes in the ground, or are they looking for a good, clean, well-collected sample? Otherwise, what are you really providing your client?

– Graeme Wallis, Wallis Drilling Managing Director