Colombian mining company Carbones del Cerrejon Ltd. has inaugurated Latin America’s first OTR tyre recycling plant, according to local news agency EFE. The plant aims to export part of its production to other countries in the region and to Asia. Commercial contacts have reportedly already been made for exporting the crumb rubber to South Korea, Chile and Brazil.
The plant in Albania, La Guajira, Colombia has the capacity to recycle 2,360 mining equipment tyres a year, taking stock from tyres used at Cerrejon’s massive open-pit coal mine, which produces more than 33 million tons of thermal coal a year.
Annual production from the plant will amount to approximately 2,300 tons of steel, as well as 5,000 tons of crumb rubber that can be used for the new fourth-generation highway network being built in Colombia, vice president German Vargas Lleras said during the inauguration.
Carbones del Cerrejon CEO Roberto Junguito Pombo is quoted as saying the process of recycling large rubber tyres is “fully mechanical and non-polluting.”
Cerrejon reportedly invested 13 billion pesos (around $4.5 million) in building the plant, with Bancolombia providing the financing and Indutrade Recyling carrying out the construction.