The Redevelopment

The Port Pirie Redevelopment project will deliver an innovative and sustainable solution to the current environmental and technical challenges facing the Nyrstar Port Pirie operation. When commissioned, the new facility is expected to have an operating life in excess of 30 years.

The Current Port Pirie Smelter

The Port Pirie Smelter has been in continuous operation since 1889, with many of the core production assets having been in service for up to
60 years. While considered best practice at the time, these assets are no longer capable of meeting the increasingly stringent environmental and operational standards expected of a modern base metals facility.

About the Agreement

Nyrstar has signed a binding agreement for the final funding and support package for the redevelopment of the Port Pirie site into an advanced poly-metallic processing and recovery facility. The redeveloped facility will result in an improved environmental footprint and a step change reduction in airborne metal, dust and sulphur dioxide emissions.

The new facility will commence hot commissioning in late 2017.

The Redevelopment

Nyrstar’s strategic solution involves transforming its Port Pirie operations away from that of a primary lead smelter into a state-of-the-art poly-metallic processing and recovery facility.

Specifically, the proven technology will replace the out-dated sinter plant with a state-of-the-art oxygen enriched enclosed bath smelting furnace technology, and a new sulphuric acid plant.

Application of fully enclosed bath smelting technology will both deliver a step change reduction in emissions from the site and allow a greater range of valuable metals to be recovered and produced.

High temperature, oxygen enriched enclosed bath smelting is acknowledged globally as best available technology for integrated base metals production and has a range of features and benefits:

  • Fully enclosed furnace design enables a step change reduction in airborne metal and dust emissions, enabling the site to meet or exceed the stringent environmental performance standards.

  • Reduced intermediate material movements on site resulting in reduced on site dust generation and movement.

Redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter will deliver a step change reduction in lead-in-air emissions and will result in a significant improvement in community health.


While the redevelopment will deliver significant environmental improvements, support for community based health and environmental initiatives that raise awareness and improve children’s health will be ongoing through the creation of a new Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP).

Redevelopment will deliver a significant improvement in environmental performance and an overall reduced environmental footprint.

  • TLAP has been developed to assess current and potential future community lead exposure reduction strategies and assess which are likely to have the greatest impact on reducing children's blood lead levels

  • Nyrstar has committed up to AUD 3 million per annum for up to 10 years and a further
    AUD 5 million to accelerate the objectives of TLAP. The AUD 3 million is representative of Nyrstar previous financial commitments.

  • The SA Government will commit approximately AUD 1.5 million per annum for up to 10 years.

  • A joint Nyrstar and SA Government Committee has been formed to facilitate the implementation of TLAP.