Kal Tire recently published a whitepaper on mining tire recycling, “Turning waste mining tires into value: building a business case for OTR recycling.” In addition to ESG compliance, it discusses regional legislation that is either in place or being considered. It also offers mining operators perspective as to how they might justify a scrap tire recycling project and proposes a different funding approach.
There are millions of tons of scrap mining tires around the world, awaiting disposition. The ultra-class mining tires used at open-pit mines are large and can weigh several mt, which means on-site processing would make the most sense. The recycling facility would be a significant investment, as it needs to have the capacity to handle the tires and break them down.
Breaking down a 63-in.-dia. radial off-the-road (OTR) tire would yield approximately 1,600 kg of carbon ash which can be upgraded and used as a replacement for new carbon black. It would also produce 900 kg of high-tensile steel and 2,000 liters of petroleum-based products, which can be refined and used to create new tires, and 350 m3 of synthetic gas that can feed the recycling process.
Instead of landfilling tires, the whitepaper proposes accessing mine remediation budgets, so that mines can recycle tires progressively rather than waiting until closure. Kal Tire foresees an evolution that could bring those two value streams closer together.