FORACO was founded in 1961 in France initially manufacturing mineral drilling rigs exported to Africa and Brazil. During this period, the company developed the first Vibro Percussive (Sonic) drills which were commissioned by Parker Drilling to drill the support piles for the Trans Alaska Pipeline. By the early 1970’s the company had patented one of the very first Reverse Circulation (RC) system and established itself as a Drilling Contractor in the Ivory Coast with a first massive contract to deliver 800 village drinking wells. These early African roots led to drilling wells for national water scheme in Libya and large (1,000 wells) programs in Mali, Chad and Niger.
During the 1980’s FORACO underwent a number of ownership changes including French oil Major Elf, who later transferred ownership to the internationally renowned French Geological Bureau – BRGM following the oil crisis.
The current controlling shareholders of FORACO purchased the company in 1997 via their FORACO International SA holding company registered in Marseilles and after witnessing the China driven minerals boom liftoff between 2004 and 2006 they actively diversified the company’s service offering to include mineral drilling services in their traditional West African markets as well as water well drilling.
In 2006 FORACO Canada was established in North Bay and in 2007 FORACO International SA was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:FAR). This listing gave FORACO the financial power to roll out their geographical expansion plan and was followed by the acquisitions of Mosslake Drilling in Australia in 2009 and 50% of Eastern Drilling Company in Russia and Adviser Drilling in Chile and Argentina in 2010. In 2012 FORACO acquired a controlling interest in Servitec in Brazil and JND in Australia which were the last major addition to FORACO global footprint.