WORKERS at Shannon-based mining company Mincon are celebrating after the group's biggest shareholders awarded staff a one-off payout following last year's stock market flotation.
Mincon employees will receive an average of €8,000 as a thank you from founder Paddy Purcell and chief executive Kevin Barry, who are personally funding the award.
In all, about €1.2m will be dispersed among 140 employees, and the group in line for payments excludes senior management. Staff will receive €1,000 for each year of service at the newly-listed company.
Some workers have been with the drill maker since its founding in 1977 and will get a €37,000 payout.
The company was famously involved in the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners in 2010. The first contact made with the men came after a 26-inch wide hole was made, using a drill bit built by Mincon.
"As the largest shareholders in the company, Kevin and I wished to take this opportunity to show, in a tangible and meaningful way, our appreciation to the staff for their contribution in bringing Mincon to where it is today" said Mr Purcell, who is also a non-executive director.
The founder and chief executive decided to award the money from their own pockets, rather than from the company's cash pool, to avoid asking newer shareholders to contribute.
This market debut valued the Clare-based business at €180m and was the AIM's largest floatation of 2013.
Shares in the company were initially priced at 87c and traded yesterday at 95c, down marginally on the day before. That values Mr Purcell's stake in the company at around €114m and Mr Barry's stake at about €30m.
Their award to employees will not impact on the group's equity, Mincon said, and the payment will not affect any anticipated future dividend.
Mincon manufactures and supplies a wide range of hard-rock drill bits and hammers for a range of industries, including mining.
It has manufacturing facilities in Ireland, the US and Australia, with international sales and distribution facilities in six locations and a further facility due to open in Peru next year.
It has been a spectacular growth story, with 2012 revenues rising 53pc to €63.1m.
Mr Barry recently outlined plans to double in size over the next two years.