the smelter

procedures for workers
capital works completed

about nyrstar

Nyrstar Port Pirie is part of Nyrstar, an integrated mining and metals business with market leading positions in zinc and lead. Nyrstar has operations in Europe, Australia, China, Canada, the United States and Central and Latin America and employs over 6,600 people.

The Port Pirie smelter has been in constant operation for more than 120 years. It is an integrated multi-metals facility which processes a wide range of lead rich concentrates and smelting industry by-products. As well as being one of the world’s largest lead smelting facilities the operation also incorporates a lead refinery, precious metals refinery, a copper plant and a zinc plant. The plant currently has 705 employees and also counts on a large number of local contractors.

Nyrstar is committed to providing a safe environment for their employees, minimising their operations’ impact on the environment and contributing to the communities in which they operate.

Nyrstar Port Pirie Facts Sheet

facts sheet

Procedures for The Workers

Numerous policies regarding personal hygiene are in place at the smelter. They’ve played a significant role in lowering employee blood lead levels, as well as reducing the amount of lead dust carried off site.

Make sure that you shower and wash your hair before leaving work.

Remove all contaminated work clothing and footwear, and change into civvies clothing before leaving the smelter.

Not wear personal undergarments with your work clothing. Always use T-shirts, shorts and socks supplied by the company. These are laundered on site along with other work clothing.

Use the over bag supplied by the smelter to put your personal bag and belongings into before you begin work. These are compulsory in some areas within the site, but all employees are encouraged to use them wherever they work.

Not place your personal items that have been on site – even those that have been in your over bag – in your home where children can access them. These include such things as mobile phones and reading glasses.

Not use family cars that convey children and prams for getting to and from work, where possible, as this is a possible source of contamination for young children.

Keep work vehicles separate from family life. Children should never have access to work vehicles, or be driven anywhere in them.

Ensure that you use the supplied barrier cream that minimises lead bearing dirt becoming ingrained into your hands.

Maintaining a clean, dust-free environment on site is a vital step towards reducing the amount of lead dust in the community. Numerous policies are already in place to limit the amount of lead dust leaving the site, and we’re always searching for ways to improve these systems.

capital works completed

The smelter has implemented many on-site initiatives to help reduce emissions. These have contributed significantly to the reduction of blood lead levels, both among workers and within the community itself.

Initiatives include the enclosing of the blast furnace, constant monitoring of air quality both within and outside the site, plus numerous smaller but still effective changes that make the minimizing of emissions and wind borne dust Nyrstar’s top priority.

To date, in excess of 350,000 trees and shrubs have been planted on the site.

And in 2008 a Corporate Environmental Audit recognised the considerable progress made in improving our environmental performance at the smelter.


The key component was the installation of the baghouse, which acts like a huge vacuum cleaner, capturing fume before it enters the environment. The project began in July 2006 and was completed in August 2007 at a cost of $9.5 million.


In excess of 350,000 trees, plants and shrubs have been planted around the site to minimise dust movement.


This project began in July 2006 and was completed in September 2007 at a cost of just under $7 million. The new system reduced the variability of the coal injection feed rate with a resulting decrease in the generation of fugitive emissions.


One of the major projects has been to make maximum use of the available gas handling systems and to remove any sources of instability that can give rise to emissions.

living here

Living in Port Pirie can be like living in just about any other regional city in Australia – only better!


How to carry out renovations while avoiding exposing you and your family to lead dust exposure.

greening the garden

Making your garden beautiful, and knowing that by using bark chips, lawn or even gravel to minimise exposure, you have done everything possible to make it lead safe for your children.

expectant mothers

Protecting unborn children and giving them the best start in life is easy: just have your own blood tested during pregnancy.
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