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View of the TSL - January 2017
Nyrstar Port Pirie site - January 2017

Port Pirie Redevelopment

Following the an​nouncement in May 2014 that Nyrstar and the South Australian Government had reached a funding and support package to proceed with the $563M AUD Redevelopment of the Port Pirie Smelter to an advanced multi metals processing and recovering facility, momentum regarding the project has continued to build and a number of significant milestone have been achieved.​

As the timeline at the bottom of the page shows, substantial progress is being made in all areas with the Redevelopment Project having already passed its halfway point in Q2 2015.

​The Redevelopment is the first stage in both Port Pirie’s and the broader Metals Processing segment Transformation and the foundation for the delivery of Nyrstar’s mission to capture the maximum value inherent in feed material and unlock untapped value from within its existing portfolio of assets. The investment in Port Pirie is unique and allows Nyrstar to extract increased value from high margin metal bearing feed materials. Additionally investment in proven state of the art technology will deliver step change reductions in airborne metal, dust and sulphur dioxide emissions resulting in significant reductions in community blood lead levels.​​​​ In parallel, Nyrstar and the South Australian Government have agreed to further improve the community health through the establishment of a new Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP).


State Of The Art Furnance Technology​​​ 

The furnace is enclosed ensuring all metal fumes and offgas are recovered. Blended feed materials and flux is fed through the roof of the furnace.

Core to this technology is the lance that injects air and oxygen at a high rate into a high lead slag bath. This ensures that oxygen is so well mixed with the​ slag and blended feed material, that the required reactions occur at a high rate and high temperature and means they are operated very close to equilibrium. 
These aspects enables the feeding of a wide variety of feed materials making it one of the most flexible pyro metallurgical furnace operations available. The Port Pirie Top Submerged Lance (TSL) process will produce lead bullion and a high lead slag suitable for further treatment in the Blast Furnace. The lead bullion settles to the bottom of the furnace which is batch tapped from a water cooled tap-hole, while the slag will continuously overflow via a weir.
This means the slag bath level remains constant ensuring the lance immersion in the slag is controlled very closely. This is important as it controls the slag that is splashed upwards in the cylindrical shaft of the furnace in a controlled manner and very importantly leads to coating the outer surface of the lance with the slag.

The slag is refractory in nature that protects the lance from burning through prematurely due to the high temperatures inside the furnace. This feature with the complete refractory lined furnace ensures a highly flexible process and high availability. ​​​​​


Focus On Acid Plant

​​​The Acid Plant will take the off gas from the Outotec Ausmelt TSL Furnace after being cleaned and conditioned, and will convert the sulphur dioxide contained in the gas to concentrated sulphuric acid which will be sold to the market. The Acid Plant footprint will be approximately 60m x 50m and stand 30m high. The new Acid Plant stack will be 60m high. The capacity of the Acid Plant will increase significantly from the current approximately 200 T/day to approximately 1000 T/day. 

Acid plant


Q3 2009
  • Concept Phase (desktop) completed of various suitable technologies (+/- 50% Capital Engineering Study).

Q2 2011

  • Industrial trial of feed material to be considered for treatment in a redeveloped Port Pirie operation.
Q1 2012
  • Working Group established between Nyrstar and SA Government to discuss transformation project feasibility.

Q2 2012
  • Port Pirie Transformation Steering Committee established to facilitate investment by Nyrstar to redevelop Port Pirie with representatives from Nyrstar, SA Government and Federal Government.

Q3 2012
  • A EPA varies Environmental License which requires Nyrstar to reduce lead in air emissions from 2016.

Q4 2012
  • Engagement with the export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) Australia’s export credit agency.
  • In-principle Agreement to Redevelop Port Pirie reached between Nyrstar and SA Government.
  • Prefeasibility Study Approved, WorleyParsons engaged for study engineering Services.
Q1 2013

  • General Manager Port Pirie Redevelopment appointed.

Q2 2013

  • Process options identified and Furnace vendors engaged.

Q3 2013
  • Prefeasibility study completed and presented to Board.
  • Internal and external process design peer reviews conducted.
  • Final Feasibility Study approved to commence.

Q4 2013
  • Furnace and major equipment item tenders received.
  • Redevelopment capital cost estimate compiled.
Q1 2014
  • Redevelopment implementation schedule developed.
  • Final feasibility study peer reviewed by external reviewers.
  • Final Feasibility Study approved by the Board.
  • Detailed engineering design commenced.
  • Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management Contract (EPCM) awarded.
Q2 2014
  • Final Redevelopment Implementation Approval granted by the Board.
  • Equipment pricing validation and negotiations continued.
  • Top Submerged Lance (TSL) Furnace supply contract awarded - Outotec.
  • Temporary Accommodation Camp design completed.
  • Temporary Accommodation Camp Building supply contract awarded.
  • Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP) Committee operational.
  • Constructi​on Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) submitted to South Australian Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
Q3 2014
  • Temporary Accommodation Camp and New Workshop construction commenced.
  • Piling, Site Civil Works, Demolition, Acid Plant Supply contracts awarded.

Q4 2014
  • Site civil works, and piling construction works commenced.
  • Temporary Change house construction work commenced.
  • Existing Workshop demolished (location of new TSL).
  • Temporary Accommodation Camp Operational.
  • Industrial Gases Supply Agreement for Oxygen
  • Supply contract awarded – Air Liquide.
Q1 2015
  • Temporary Accommodation Camp completed and fully functional.
  • Maintenance Workshop relocation completed.
  • Maintenance Workshop demolition commenced.
  • Detailed engineering design commenced.
  • Site by-pass road completed.
  • TSL Furnace piling commenced.
Q2 2015

Acid Plant:

  • Piling and foundation design completed
  • Concrete works for the acid plant progressing to plan and schedule

Oxygen Plant:

  • Oxygen plant piling completed
  • Major equipment concrete foundation well advanced



  • TSL piling nearing completion
  • Offshore major process equipment fabrication commenced
  • First module fabrication yard steel orders placed


Q3 2015

  • Fabrication of first equipment (paddle mixer) completed
  • TSL piling finished
  • Mobilisation of crane work on site
  • TSL furnace concrete foundation work Begins on the southern end of the TSL foundation
  • Work commences on TSL furnace pedestals and furnace plinth
  • 150 tonne furnace shell arrives at the construction site


Q4 2015

  • Acid Plant - Work continues on the new acid plant HPDE liner which stops acid entering the ground and underlying aquifers from leaks or spills.
  • During 2015 all major engineering work, demolition, major civils and piling work was completed together with fabrication of the TSL furnace and key processing equipment.
  • The furnace and shipments for acid plant equipment and structures were delivered to site and the module yard in China commenced fabrication of structural and equipment modules for the TSL furnace building.
  • In readiness for the installation of the various modules, a 2,600 tonne heavy lift mobile crane has been assembled on site.
H1 2016
  • During H1 2016 all major engineering work, demolition, major civils and piling work were completed on Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Redevelopment Project.
  • Progress from overseas suppliers has been good, with a number of shipments of key plant and equipment delivered to site.
  • The modular off-site fabrication of the acid plant and furnace buildings has progressed, with work on these critical modules ramping-up significantly throughout H1 2016.
  • Shipping activities will continue throughout Q3 2016, with the large 532 tonne Electro Static Precipitator (ESP) module having been shipped to site in mid-July 2016. Additional shift work commenced in the Chinese fabrication facilities in H1 2016, in order to meet the project schedule.
  • Work on site is progressing well with the first mechanical equipment being load commissioned in May and all concrete work for the furnace, acid plant and oxygen plant completed.
  • The installation of structural and process equipment components has been ongoing since Q4 2015. In readiness for the installation of the various modules, a 2,600 tonne heavy lift mobile crane has been assembled on site, with the new Oxygen Plant (built, owned and operated by Air Liquide) also now close to completion, with commissioning scheduled to commence in Q3 2016.
  • The Port Pirie Redevelopment remains on schedule with initial commissioning now commenced and ramp up to commence in H2 2016 and continue into 2017.