AN Alloa-based firm has bought global mineral exploration giant Boart Longyear's UK drilling services division and plant.

The Mulraney Group, which owns and operates a number of building and engineering businesses, formed GeoSonic Drilling following the purchase.

The new firm has the largest fleet of independently owned and operated sonic drilling rigs in Europe and is projected to make more than �5 million in its first year.

Sonic drilling uses high frequency energy to take samples below ground.

GeoSonic Drilling will specialise in site investigations for the environmental planning, construction, mining and renewable energy sectors, owns and operates a total of nine rigs. Its eight "mini" or small rigs can drill to depths of 80 metres while its large rig is capable of drilling to depths of 200 metres.