Lisburn’s Rock Extraction raises £500,000 for groundbreaking tool

27 Sep 2022

From left: Ian Dawson, Sian McLaughlin, Mervyn McCall and Jon Houston. Image: Philip Magowan/Press Eye

The investment from HBAN and Co-Fund NI will help Rock Extraction bring its mining product to the market.

Northern Irish start-up Rock Extraction has secured £500,000 in funding to further develop its rock-breaking tool for the mining industry.

The Lisburn-based engineering start-up has developed a product called Volt 100K that can limit the need to use explosives for mining – helping avoid the destructive consequences for the environment.

The company claims the new breaking and extraction tool is more precise than existing hydraulic hammers and aims to reduce disruption for areas surrounding mines and quarries.

The funding round was led by local business angels from the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of angel investment. Rock Extraction recently sought backing at a local HBAN pitching event.

“The investment readiness part of our engagement with HBAN really helped to refine and articulate our investment proposition,” said Ian Dawson, who co-founded Rock Extraction with Jon Houston and Steve Jackman, with the support of Mark Paton from the banking sector.

“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.”

Dawson added that the fresh investment will help Rock Extraction to bring the Volt 100K product to market, scale the business and expand the company’s sales team.

The funding raised by HBAN was matched by Co-Fund NI. This Belfast-based private equity growth fund is supported by Invest NI and managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, which also manages HBAN in Northern Ireland.

Sian McLaughlin, an investment manager at Clarendon, said that the clean-tech industry is “booming” and that there is now “more demand than ever” for cleaner alternatives for large companies.

“As experts in their field, Jon and Ian are perfectly positioned to develop this product and bring it to market with impressive growth potential,” said McLaughlin.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic