BHP look to turn trash into treasure with new tyre recycling initiative

2,000 mining truck tyres are set to be turned into high-quality oil, carbon black and steel each year under a new recycling initiative by mining-giant BHP.

BHP has partnered with tyre recycler Novum Energy to convert 4.9-tonnes of end-of-life mining truck tyres into usable by-product.

Novum is an innovative end-of-life tyre recycler that focuses on converting rubber waste from the mining and agricultural industries into re-usable product using sustainable, socio-economically beneficial methods.

The end-of-life tyres will be sourced from all seven of BHP’s Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and Mitsui Coal (BMC) mining sites across Queensland and sent to Novum’s processing facility in Nebo, south-west of Mackay.

The initiative is expected to create up to 30 full-time jobs according to Novum Energy Australia managing director Rowan Kendall, providing an economic boost to the local economy.

“Our target is to process 19,000 tonnes of rubber per annum, which will produce approximately nine million litres of fuel oil, 450,000 tonnes of recycled carbon black, 2,500 tonnes of waste steel and excess syngas for electricity generation,” said Kendall.

The new recycling initiative would see BHP end their stockpiling of old truck tyres, while simultaneously improving the sustainability of their operations and reducing their emissions.

BMA asset president James Palmer said the recycling initiative would provide an economic boost to the region while furthering the sustainability of BHP’s sustainability.

“We are constantly looking for ways to increase the sustainability of our operations, reduce emissions and contribute to regional communities, and this new BHP-led initiative does just that,” said Palmer.

“This helps us create a circular economy in the region by re-purposing waste locally and creating activity in the region.”

End-of-life tyres have historically posed an inconvenient threat to the wider automotive industry.

The question of what to do with them once they are no longer suitable for road use has plagued the industry for some time, with solutions of stockpiling them and turning them into landfill causing economic and environmental issues.

Destroying them and turning them into valuable materials not-only solves these issues, but also turns end-of-life tyres into moneymakers, with these materials able to be sold and repurposed.

Source: Courier Mail (Subscription required) | BHP to recycle huge mining truck tyres

10 August 2020

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