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Kal Tire and Mitsui advance recycling of tyres in mining

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Kal Tire’s thermal conversion mining tire recycling facility in Chile. Image credit: Kal Tire

Kal Tire and Mitsui advance recycling of tyres in mining

Tyre supply and management company Kal Tire and Mitsui & Co., a global corporate group focusing on innovation and sustainability, have announced the formation of a joint venture aimed at advancing mining tyre recycling solutions for mining regions around the world.

At a time when many mines are striving to act on ESG commitments, the collaboration will support burgeoning demand for solutions to handle end-of-life mining tyres in ways that lead to the best and highest use of recycled rubber products and promote a circular economy.

“Mines are challenging themselves to demonstrate environmental stewardship, and yet in many regions, sustainable Off Road Tyre (OTR) recycling solutions aren’t yet available,” says Dan Allan, Senior Vice President of Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group.

“Mitsui’s global reach, mining experience and commitment to affecting positive change gives us a path to scale solutions so we can reach many more mines much more quickly and help solve this enormous environmental challenge,” Allan adds.

In addition to providing mining tyre management and supply at more than 150 mine sites across five continents, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group offers a range of sustainability solutions to help mines extend tyre life, divert scrap, and reduce their carbon footprint.

One of those solutions is a thermal conversion OTR tyre recycling facility in Chile, where scrap ultra-class tyres are converted to their base elements (carbon black, oil and steel) for reuse.

Virtually 100% of the tyre can be reused. Among Mitsui’s expansive global operating segments are mineral and metal resources, chemicals, energy, iron and steel products, and machinery and infrastructure.

With an aim to promote sustainability and realise a circular economy, Mitsui is focusing its investment in the mining industry on environmental solutions. Both Mitsui and Kal Tire recognise a growing demand for mining tyre recycling and recycled rubber products, specifically for carbon black and recovered Carbon Black (rCB).

“We are pleased to announce that Kal Tire and Mitsui will be starting a collaboration in the mining tyre recycling business,” says Hiroshi Kakiuchi, COO, Performance Materials Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui).

“Waste tyres currently piled up at mining sites are becoming more urgent and increasingly an issue for mining companies these days, and we are proud to be able to provide a real and sustainable recycling solution together with our partner.”

Kal Tire’s thermal conversion recycling facility in Chile is the first operating facility of its kind, and the two organisations aim to collaborate on commercialising the plant starting early 2023.

The Chilean plant provides the foundation as the joint venture pursues opportunities to bring OTR tyre recycling solutions to mining regions around the world—leaning on Kal Tire’s technology and service to mines, and Mitsui’s experience with chemical and engineering innovation, downstream markets and as shareholders and stakeholders inside mining organisations.

Together, the organisations will help companies understand the value of mining tyre recycling and act on ESG commitments. “We’re seeing far greater uptake from customers when they explore ESG, including recycling, and we’re also seeing more interest in carbon black solutions from manufacturers,” says Allan.

“We’ve invested significantly in a solution at the top of the recycling hierarchy because we’re committed to solving our customers’ challenges, and Mitsui is the ideal partner to scale, evolve and invest in mining tyre recycling so it can become a standalone industry that meets demand and inspires a greener future.”

Kal Tire and Mitsui joint venture signing ceremony at Kal Tire headquarters. Front row L to R: Shigeki Shibayama, GM, Living & Environmental Business Division; Dan Allan, SVP, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group; Hiroshi Kakiuchi, COO, Performance Materials Business Unit. Back row L to R: Doug Lemiski, SVP Business Services, Kal Tire; Iain Butler, VP Finance, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group; Ken Chaun, SVP Stores, Kal Tire. Image credit: Kal Tire

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management