Chile's Ministry of Environment published the first decree linked to Law 20,920 in January 2021, which states that by 2030, all tires on mining trucks with 45-inch or larger tires must be recycled 100 percent. The gradual implementation of tire recycling in mining must start in 2023.

Considering that it consumes more than 900 tires annually, or over 3,200 t, copper miner Collahuasi in northern Chile stated in its recently published 2021 Sustainability Report that this represented a significant issue. The corporation has a comprehensive circular economy plan in place that includes 43 individual projects, such as the eradication of plastic bottles and recycling mill grinding balls, and goes beyond only tires.

After researching several technological options and comparing various proposals, Collahuasi made the decision to enter into a partnership with Rembre Tires, a reputable Chilean recycling company that ensures emission-free procedures through granulation technology. In order to kick off the cooperation, the mine sent 15 used mining tires to Rembre's new plant in Antofagasta in the second quarter of 2021.

Currently, Rembre sends the recovered rubber to a US company as a raw material, where it is processed into pellets that are used, among other things, to make synthetic pitches and mats. The long-term objective of Rembre is to produce its own rubber products, such as truck stops (wedges) and gratings for industrial zones, that can be utilized in Collahuasi's operations.

Article by International Mining magazine.