Lisburn firm strikes funding bonanza to progress mining tech

Rock Extraction is developing an extraction tool that offers a cleantech alternative to explosives

Rock Extraction, a Lisburn, Co Antrim-based engineering company, has secured £500,000 (€555,000) to further develop its Volt 100k rock breaking tool, a cleantech alternative to explosives used in mining globally.

Led by angel investors, the funding round was conducted through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland after the company pitched its idea at a recent HBAN event.

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The funds raised were matched by Co-Invest Northern Ireland, an equity fund managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, and will allow Rock Extraction to “further progress the prototype, extend its patent portfolio and manufacture the first run of production units”, said the company.

A company spokeswoman said it plans to bring the product to the UK market in January. It will then target markets in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.

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“With the environmental impacts, danger and disruption caused by the use of explosives in mines, we are committed to developing cleaner and safer alternatives and our technology is revolutionary for the industry,” said Rock Extraction co-founder Ian Dawson. “Our growth plans are firmly in place and this investment will help us to bring the product to market, scale our business and expand our sales team.”

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times