Nyrstar Australia undertaking new study to explore expanding battery recycling capabilities following grant from Green Industries SA

Tuesday September 26, 2023

Nyrstar Australia will explore the possibilities of expanding its battery recycling capabilities in Port Pirie following a grant from the South Australian Government and Green Industries SA.

In September 2022, Nyrstar Australia became the first B-cycle accredited company in the nation to recycle zinc and copper from alkaline batteries and return them to international commodity markets.

As part of its National Battery Recycling Initiative, Nyrstar Australia now will conduct a feasibility study into expanding its battery recycling capabilities to accommodate a wider variety of battery types.

Green Industries SA has provided a grant as part of the Circular Economy Market Development Grant program to support the study that could lead to further production of critical minerals such as cobalt and lithium alongside zinc, nickel and copper.

Nyrstar Co-CEO Dale Webb said Nyrstar’s National Battery Recycling Initiative launched last September was processing millions of alkaline batteries at Port Pirie and extracting important international-grade commodities.

“Recycling batteries here at Port Pirie is an important way we contribute to our community and the environment,” said Mr. Webb.

“We know the importance of zinc and copper and other critical minerals to the world is only growing, so we are working with the South Australian Government and other partners on how we can find new ways to recycle batteries and increase supply of these critical metals.”

South Australia’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Industry and Climate, Environment and Water Susan Close said the Malinauskas Government was pleased to partner with Nyrstar in exploring future opportunities to expand battery recycling.

“Nyrstar is playing an important role in producing and refining critical metals and this initiative to recycle batteries is something we strongly support,” said Ms. Close.

“If left exposed in landfill, batteries can contaminate the soil and groundwater, causing significant health and environmental risks. We want to see more batteries being recycled and sent to Nyrstar in the future.”

B-cycle CEO, Libby Chaplin says B-cycle is pleased to partner with Nyrstar to recycle end-of-life alkaline batteries and look forward to the outcomes of this feasibility study.

"Growing Australia's onshore battery processing capabilities and securing the future of the industry is a key focus for B-cycle. To do this successfully we need government at every level and accredited recyclers, like Nyrstar, driving investment and innovation in the sector. We look forward to working with Nyrstar as they work to scale their offering and continue to play an important role in ensuring used batteries can be made into something new," said Ms. Chaplin.

In June 2023, Nyrstar published a white paper highlighting the significant impact that renewable energy growth is having on international markets for metals, and the unique opportunity this presents Australia.

The report shows that according to Trafigura Research and industry estimates, by 2030, annual demand for zinc will grow by 20 percent from where it is today and discusses the role of battery recycling in realising this important opportunity.


About Nyrstar Australia
Nyrstar Australia is a national multi-metals processing and refining business, operating in Port Pirie and Hobart for over 100 years to produce lead, silver, zinc, and many other materials that are essential for the manufacture of products used by everyone, every day.
Nyrstar Australia employs over 1,300 people across processing plants in Port Pirie and Hobart that operate as two interlinked sites and play a critical role in increasing the value of the metals and minerals obtained from resources sourced from across Australia and around the world.
Nyrstar is an international producer of critical minerals and metals essential for a low carbon future with mining, smelting and other operations located in Europe, the United States and Australia. Nyrstar’s operating business is wholly owned by Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading and supply chain logistics companies.

About the Battery Stewardship Council
The Battery Stewardship Council was established in 2018 to bring together players from across the battery supply chain to ensure that a robust and well-designed battery stewardship scheme is established. The Council’s mission is to facilitate accessible battery recycling services for consumers in metropolitan and regional areas of Australia through the industry-led B-cycle battery recycling Scheme.

About B-cycle
B-cycle launched in 2022 by the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) and is supported by the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments and authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It is Australia’s first nationwide, government-backed Battery Stewardship Scheme. A not-for-profit organisation established for the purpose of recycling used batteries, B-cycle is the safe and simple way to help build a world where no battery goes to waste. bcycle.com.au