the smelter

procedures for workers

capital works completed

about nyrstar

Nyrstar Port Pirie smelter is part of Nyrstar, a global multi-metals business, with a market leading position in zinc and lead, and growing positions in other base and precious metals, such as copper, gold and silver. Nyrstar has six smelters, one fumer and four mining operations, located in Europe, Australia and North America, and employs approximately 4,100 people. Nyrstar’s global operations are located close to key customers and major transport hubs to facilitate delivery of raw materials and distribution of finished products.

The Company is incorporated in Belgium and has its corporate office in Zurich, Switzerland. Nyrstar is listed on Euronext Brussels under the symbol NYR.

Nyrstar is committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, minimising our smelters’ and mines’ impact on the environment and contributing to the communities in which we operate.

More information about the Port Pirie smelter Redevelopment please refer to the Nyrstar website.


After 129 years of continuous operation, the Port Pirie Smelter has a rich and dynamic history. Port Pirie was South Australia’s first provincial city and the fourth declared Port in Australia. Port Pirie is one of the key regional cities in South Australia, with the Port Pirie Smelter being the major employer of the Upper Spencer Gulf region. The first smelting operations commenced at Port Pirie in 1889 and a long history of smelting has followed.

The Port Pirie community is extremely parochial about the smelter with generations of the same family often having worked at the facility. The community and the Port Pirie smelter are intrinsically linked.

Nyrstar is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and the site has a strong focus on reducing emissions from the site. For numerous years the site has worked proactively with key stakeholders developing and implementing community initiatives that have a positive impact on considerably reducing children’s blood lead levels. Nyrstar’s strategic solution involves transforming the Port Pirie smelter operation away from that of a primary lead smelter into a highly flexible polymetallic processing and recovery centre resulting in an improved environmental footprint and a step change reduction in airborne metal and dust emissions.

For more information on the history of the Port Pirie smelter please refer to our history website.

Nyrstar Port Pirie Facts Sheet

facts sheet

Procedures for People Working at the Smelter

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.

overview Port Pirie Redevelopment

The Port Pirie Redevelopment involves the conversion of the Port Pirie operations into an advanced metal recovery and refining facility, enabling the facility to process a wider range of high margin feed materials, including internal zinc smelter residues and concentrates. Once fully ramped-up, the Port Pirie Redevelopment will allow Nyrstar to capture a greater proportion of the value contained within the feed material consumed by its global network of smelters as well as third party residues.

Successful first tap and cast of slag onto slag caster achieved on 15 December 2017.

Successful commencement of hot commissioning September 2017.

For information on the Redevelopment please refer to the Nyrstar website


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.