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Irish mining startup raises £500k for a greener way to break rocks  

Rock Extraction
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 20th September 2022 Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Northern Irish cleantech startup Rock Extraction has raised £500,000 for a rock-breaking tool designed to provide a green alternative to explosives used in the mining industry.

The Lisburn-based company was founded to reduce the reliance on explosives that can release large quantities of harmful compounds into the atmosphere. Rock Extraction’s Volt 100k extraction tool, according to the company, is a greener alternative for breaking rocks.

The company says it is “more precise than existing hydraulic hammers”.

“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 Ian Dawson, co-founder of Rock Extraction.

“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.”

The funding came after the company founders pitched their project at a Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) quarterly event.

The financing from HBAN was then matched by Co-Fund NI, an investment fund for Northern Irish startups in association with the Regional Angels Programme from British Business Investments. Co-Fund NI is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.

“The cleantech industry is booming and there is more demand than ever for cleaner alternatives for large companies,” said Sian McLaughlin, investment manager at Clarendon.

“The investment was further strengthened by attracting local HBAN business angels with international experience of bringing innovative products to global markets who can support the company to rapidly scale.”