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Port Pirie Redevelopment


Located on the eastern shore of the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, approximately 230 kms north of Adelaide, the Smelter Port Pirie smelter has been in constant operation for 127 years. There is an adjacent dedicated port facility where concentrates are received, with final products dispatched by road and rail.

Nyrstar signed a binding agreement for the final funding and support package for the redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter to an advanced polymetallic processing and recovery facility.

​The investment in Port Pirie is unique and allows Nyrstar to extract increased value from high margin metal bearing feed materials. The Port Pirie Redevelopment will have a significant positive long-term effect on Nyrstar’s operations and deliver a substantial earnings uplift.

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.