Nyrstar secures Tasmanian smelter future

Nyrstar has signed an agreement to invest in its Tasmanian smelter, as the company announces a new Australian CEO.

The company has signed a binding agreement for a $52 million investment at the Hobart smelter.

The funding will be used for four growth projects at the site, two of which are focused on increasing its capacity to treat more complex concentrates.

These projects have already begun and will be commissioned in the second half of the year.

“The remaining projects relate to the upgrade of materials handling equipment and the addition of a side-leach plant that will enable the smelter to treat zinc oxide from Nyrstar Port Pirie, splitting base metals (Zinc and Lead) from minor metals (Indium and Germanium), enhancing the site's operational link with Nyrstar Port Pirie and the broader global Metals Processing network,” Nyrstar said in a company statement.

This agreement was modelled on a similar agreement struck between Nyrstar and the South Australian Government.

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," Nyrstar senior vice-president metals processing and chief development officer, Michael Morley, said.

On this back of this funding agreement the company also announced the appointment of Bill Scotting as its new CEO.

Scotting will step into the role from 17 August.

He moves into the position from ArcelorMittal, where he was the chief mining executive.

Scotting started his career as a metallurgist in Newcastle.

Commenting on the appointment, Nyrstar chairman Julien De Wilde said: “After a comprehensive global search, Bill Scotting was the obvious choice to lead Nyrstar in the next stage of its journey.

"His track record of solving complex issues, creating value and deep sector knowledge gives him the tools to focus on improving operational excellence at the mines, delivering the Port Pirie Redevelopment and working with Nyrstar's senior management team to re-introduce the stability we need to deliver and create value for our shareholders.”

Scotting replaces Heinz Eigner, Nyrstar's CFO, who has been acting CEO since November last year.


Image: ABC News/Stephen Smiley