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BHP is set to recycle mining truck tyres in Queensland’s Bowen Basin region for the first time in Australia.

The company has partnered with Novum Energy, which will take used earth moving tyres from all seven BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) sites in Queensland for recycling.

Novum will convert the tyres into heavy and light oils, carbon black, syngas and steel at a processing plant which is being built in Nebo within the Isaac region.

The company is aiming to process 19,000 tonnes of rubber per annum to produce about nine million litres of fuel oil, according to Novum managing director Rowan Kendall.

“(This) will (also) produce … 4500 tonnes of recycled carbon black, 2500 tonnes of waste steel and excess syngas for electricity generation,” Kendall explained.

“This is an effective way to ensure used tyres are being reclaimed in a safe and sustainable manner.”

BMA asset president James Palmer added that the tyre recycling program would not only create up to 30 jobs in the Bowen Basin but also reduce emissions across the company’s operations.

“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 now be recycled and turned into new products.

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

The mining giant will start the program by supplying 2000 tyres a year to Novum.

BMC asset president Elsabe Muller said this was a first for BHP in Australia and was “another example of the mining industry in central Queensland leading the way.”