LAS VEGAS (Nov. 15) — Polyurethane tire design advocate Amerityre Corp. has enlisted Phelps Dodge Mining Co. — the nation´s largest copper mining operator — to evaluate large off-the-road tires retreaded using Amerityre´s proprietary PU elastomers.
The agreement, signed in late September, calls for Amerityre to develop and produce several polyurethane elastomer retreads for a specific size OTR tire. Phelps Dodge will provide OTR tire casings to Amerityre, which will apply a PU-based cap tread on the supplied casings.
Amerityre and Phelps Dodge will then conduct evaluations of the performance of the retreaded OTR tires. The testing and evaluation period is open-ended, Amerityre said.
If the testing is successful and the evaluation positive, Phelps Dodge will consider establishing an OTR retread supply agreement with Amerityre, the Boulder City, Nev.-based company said.
Phelps Dodge will be responsible for the cost of the OTR tire casings and an additional amount based on the actual use of each OTR tire retread. Each of the parties´ additional expenses associated with the agreement will be borne by the respective parties.
The evaluation program is part of a broader plan by Amerityre to determine the feasibility of constructing a production facility for the purpose of retreading OTR tires for a variety of customers and uses, subject to obtaining adequate financing.
To effect its end of the contact, Amerityre plans to build — subject to obtaining adequate financing — a plant with a capacity of 7,200 OTR retreads a year. Amerityre said it would operate the plant either on its own or with a strategic partner.
Amerityre did not say where it would build this plant, but in its most recent 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm said it intends to buy its existing Boulder City facility — a 49,200-sq.-ft. structure on 4.15 acres of property — for $2.6 million.
Amerityre claims to have annual capacity at its plant to make 2 million Elastothane PU industrial tires.
The contract follows by only a few months a licensing contract Amerityre signed with China´s Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co. Ltd. covering Qingdao Qizhou´s use of Amerityre´s technology to retread OTR tires.