Port Pirie is an integrated multi-metals recovery plant with the flexibility to process a wide range of lead rich concentrates and smelting industry by-products. Port Pirie is one of the world’s largest primary lead smelting facilities and the third largest silver producer, which allows it to generate significant economies of scale. Port Pirie is strategically linked to the Hobart smelter through flows of by-products such as paragoethite and leach products.

Port Pirie Redevelopment Project

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 which Nyrstar expects to account for approximately 50% of feed material requirements. The increased operating flexibility of the smelter following the Port Pirie Redevelopment is expected to create a fundamentally different operating and business model.The key aspects of the Port Pirie Redevelopment include the replacement of the existing sinter plant with an oxygen enriched bath smelting furnace and replacement of the existing sulphuric acid plant with a new plant with greater capacity and upgraded technology.

Quick Facts

Technology: top submerged lance (TSL) furnace, blast furnace and lead refinery. Slag fuming leach, electrowin copper, solvent extraction/electrowin (SXEW)

Products: commodity grade lead, copper cathode, silver dore and sulphuric acid

Employees: ~756

Nyrstar Port Pirie holds certificates for:

ISO 14001: 2015

AS/NZS 4801: 2001

ISO 9001: 2015

AS/NZS 5377: 2013

EN ISO/IEC 17025: 2017


The Port Pirie Smelter is located on the eastern shore of the Spencer Gulf in South Australia, approximately 220 km north of Adelaide. There is an adjacent dedicated port facility where concentrates are received, with final products dispatched by road and rail.

More information about Port Pirie can be found here 


After over 130 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 one of the major employers 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 smelter are intrinsically linked. Nyrstar is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and 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 reduce exposure and improve community health particularly with young children (www.tlap.com.au).

Nyrstar Port Pirie on the map