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Steel and carbides recycled

May 20, 2024

Reducing waste and carbon emissions are important environmental goals for Epiroc and our customers. The rock drilling tools recycling program, with focus on steel and carbides, is a step on the sustainability journey.
Using recycled tungsten carbide, Epiroc gets tungsten powder that is identical to virgin powder.

Using recycled tungsten carbide, Epiroc gets tungsten powder that is identical to virgin powder.

Recycling has become increasingly important within the mining industry in recent years. By recycling and reusing materials such as steel, metals, and other valuable resources, the need to extract virgin material is reduced, which in turn decreases environmental impact and promotes a more sustainable practice. On top of that, Epiroc sees some geopolitical challenges in the world which could become a potential bottleneck for a sustainable manufacturing process. In 2023, recycling has been prioritized in Epiroc’s sustainability work.


"We must do what we can to contribute to a more sustainable world, with less waste and emissions. Our new recycling program is one activity that brings us closer to that goal," says Pavel Vedeneev, Regional Business Development Manager for Epiroc Rock Drilling Tools.


In April 2023, Vedeneev and his team took the first step towards the recycling program. By the end of the year, the goal is to have implemented the process in seven selected markets on different continents.


"Next year we’re scaling it up by developing new areas. We look forward to the continued journey," says Pavel Vedeneev.


The recycling process is divided into two levels. The first is that the steel needs to be separated from the carbide inserts, and the second is a more complicated process that requires a hightech chemical method. The inserts are first taken down to atomic level, to be able to reveal the powder equal to the virgin powder of the mine.

Pavel Vedeneev.jpg

"Our goal is to do level one in the regions where our bits are used by customers and are close to their operations. This means that it’s only the carbide inserts that will eventually turn into powder that is shipped to our level-two production in Europe. Level two requires expert knowledge.

This also means that we don’t need to send large containers around the world. To find regional business partners that can help us with the separation is therefore high on my agenda right now"

Pavel Vedeneev, Regional Business Development Manager for Epiroc Rock Drilling Tools

Three important benefits of the recycling program


Using recycled and fossilfree steel and fossil-free carbide reduces carbon emissions, an important goal of Agenda 2030.


By diversifying the carbide supply, including recycled material, Epiroc can secure the customers’ sustainability work.


Recycling material, such as tungsten carbide, increases production efficiency and saves costs.

2024 Rock drilling tools