BHP will supply used earth moving tyres from all seven BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMC) and BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) sites to Novum for conversion into heavy and light oils, carbon black, syngas and steel. It will take place at a processing plant that is being built in Nebo in the Isaac region of Queensland.
Novum Energy Australia managing director Rowan Kendall said the company’s target was to process 19,000 tonnes of rubber per annum.
This would produce approximately nine million litres of fuel oil, 4500 tonne of recycled carbon black, 2500 tonnes of waste steel and excess syngas for electricity generation.
According to Kendall,this was an effective way to ensure used tyres were being reclaimed in a safe and sustainable manner.
BMA asset president James Palmer said recycling the tyres would create new jobs for the community, increase sustainability and reduce emissions at BHP’s Queensland operations. Up to 30 new jobs will be created in the Bowen Basin.
“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,” Palmer said.
“New technology means rather than storing old tyres, which weigh around 4.9 tonnes each, they can be now be recycled and turned into new products. This helps us create a circular economy in the region by re-purposing waste locally and creating activity in the region.”
BMC asset president Elsabe Muller said BHP would start by supplying 2000 tyres annually to Novum.
“This is a first for BHP in Australia, and is another example of the mining industry in central Queensland leading the way,” Muller said.