Nyrstar to invest A$52m in Tasmanian smelter

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Image credit: www.nyrstar.com

Base metals major Nyrstar has announced that it will invest around A$52 million into four growth projects at its zinc smelter in Hobart after signing a funding and support package with the State Government of Tasmania.

Image credit: www.nyrstar.com

The Hobart smelter is a large-scale zinc smelter located on the western bank of the Derwent River Estuary in Hobart, Tasmania. The facility uses the RLE process for zinc production.

Two of the growth projects are aimed at boosting the smelter’s capacity to treat more complex concentrates following the closure of its Century mine. The group owns nine mines, which feed its smelting operations.

The investment will generate 600 direct jobs at the smelter, as well as another 3,500 indirect jobs that are dependent on Nyrstar.

“The agreement reached between Nyrstar and the Tasmanian Government to invest in the Nyrstar Hobart smelter represents another important step forward in Nyrstar’s Metals Processing transformation and in achieving our stated mission to maximise value from our integrated metals processing and mining business,” said Nyrstar Senior Vice-President Metals Processing and Chief Development Officer Michael Morley.

“Nyrstar is a vital part of Tasmania’s economy, contributing around $800 million towards Tasmania’s Gross State Product and 24 per cent of Tasmania’s total export value.  Every year, Nyrstar pumps around $70 million into the Hobart economy through wages paid to employees and contractors,” said Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth, in a statement.

“Not only will this agreement secure Nyrstar’s future in Tasmania, it will also unlock a $52 million investment that will expand Nyrstar’s capacity, which in turn will create an additional 125 jobs during the construction phase alone and up to 20 new jobs at the smelter once the upgrades are complete. Nyrstar’s commitment to its Hobart smelter is a vote of confidence in the Tasmanian economy and shows that industry and manufacturing have a strong future in Tasmania.”

According to Minister Groom, the funding model adopts a structure based on the successful agreement reached between Nyrstar and the South Australian Government regarding Nyrstar’s Port Pirie facility.

“Under the model Nyrstar will borrow $29 million from the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and the Government will provide a guarantee to EFIC in respect of that loan.  The guarantee will be in place until February 2019,” Mr Groom said.

The Minister also announced that the Government and Nyrstar will jointly fund a $10 million project aimed at groundwater remediation to reduce Nyrstar’s impact on the environment.

“The Government will provide up to $5 million on a dollar-for-dollar basis.  Both Nyrstar and the Government have an obligation to work together to reduce the impact on the environment,” the Minister said.

“Nyrstar and the Government are jointly committed to ensuring this work can be undertaken as soon as possible. In addition, Nyrstar’s parent company has also agreed to take responsibility for any other environmental liabilities at the site.”