Major Drilling to shut Australia operations

March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:38pm EDT

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March 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Major Drilling Group International Inc said it will shut its Australia operations as part of a restructuring, citing high costs and an industry downturn in that country.

Major Drilling said the close-down process will take about six months and it will incur asset write-downs and cash close-down costs, the total amount of which will be determined in the next two months.

The Australia operations comprised about two percent of its global revenue in the third quarter, the provider of drilling services mainly to the mining industry said late Tuesday.

Major Drilling, a bellwether for the mining industry, said earlier this month that it was considering all restructuring options for its Australia branch, including the possibility of withdrawing from the market.

The company had at that time said it hadn't seen any improvement in the situation in Australia from the beginning of the year as it fought low utilization rates for surface rigs and intense price competition in Eastern Australia.

Major Drilling said it would shift the assets used in Australia to its operations in other parts of the world. (Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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