Recycling drill bits in support of local communities


In today’s environmentally conscious world, sustainability is an issue no business can afford to ignore. Robit intends to be the vanguard of its industry in this respect too – and Robit Australia, together with their distributor Hard Metal Industries, are showing the way.

Mining is an activity that irreversibly changes the environment and affects the lives of local communities in various ways. It is also very consumable-intensive, producing large amounts of waste. While there are regulations and corporate policies guiding the responsible handling of waste, some companies have gone a few steps further.

Hard Metal Industries (HMI), headquartered in Brisbane, is a twenty-year-old company serving the Australian mining and construction industries with consumables. Five years ago, together with Robit, HMI started a Corporate Social Responsibility programme with one of their key customers, a tier one global mining company.

The first step of the programme is the collection of used drill bits for recycling. Discarded drill bits are placed in storage cages, specifically designed for this purpose by HMI. The discarded consumables are then transported to a facility where they are smelted down, separating steel and tungsten carbide for reuse. Finally, the proceeds of this are directed to community groups within the regions the mines operate.

“This is truly an arrangement where everybody wins. Having less manual handling of discarded parts improves site safety. We are saving energy and reducing the carbon output of the mines. What was previously landfill waste is now creating revenue as recycled material. And most importantly: by directing that revenue to local support groups, we are contributing to community health and local services in the regions where we operate. To date, we have jointly provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to these community groups”, says Wayne Beaton, Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Robit Australia.