Nyrstar becomes first company to recycle alkaline batteries for commodities export in Australia

Thursday September 15, 2022

Single-use alkaline batteries from across Australia can now be recycled at Nyrstar’s Port Pirie site after the site today received accreditation from the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC).

The multi-metals site will become the first B-cycle accredited recycler to recover commodity-grade quality metals from alkaline batteries, such as zinc and copper, for international markets.

Single-use alkaline batteries, commonly used to power household appliances such as remote controls, smoke alarms and radios can be recycled at Nyrstar Port Pirie into zinc and copper which is then returned to local and international commodity markets. The majority of remaining material can then be used in cement products with other commercial partners.

Nyrstar Australia is expected to recycle up to 2,000 tonnes per year (approximately 88 million AA alkaline batteries) of single-use alkaline batteries initially with an ability increase capacity to 8,000 tonnes as collection rates and the implementation of the B-cycle Scheme grows.

Further information about B-cycle and local battery recycling options are available here.


Premier Peter Malinauskas

For more than 130 years the team here at Port Pirie has been maximising the value of Australian minerals leading to products critical to our state and the world.

Today’s announcement demonstrates Nyrstar, this productive region and our state is well positioned to play an important role in the transition to a greener economy.

Dale Webb, Vice President – Nyrstar Australia

As a multi-metals processing facility this demonstrates our ability to support Australia’s transition to a more circular economy.

We are excited by this opportunity and continue to explore ways we can work with BSC, the South Australian Government and other partners on practical outcomes that benefit our community.

BSC and B-cycle CEO Libby Chaplin

Nyrstar’s B-cycle accreditation demonstrates the significance of the Scheme and its agenda to facilitate Australia’s onshore processing of batteries, encouraging investment and innovation, which is essential for the future of the industry. Australia will continue to depend on alkaline batteries for many years to come but traditionally 90% of these have been sent to landfill, which is why Nyrstar’s move into this space is so exciting.


About Nyrstar

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.

Nyrstar Australia is a national multi-metals processing and manufacturing 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.

About Battery Stewardship Council

The Battery Stewardship Council was established with the primary goal of establishing a Battery Stewardship Scheme in Australia that would see a significant increase in battery collections and recycling, with funding secured from industry, all states and territories and the Federal Government.

About B-Cycle

B-cycle was founded in 2020 by the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC), supported by the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments, and authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). B-cycle is Australia’s first nationwide, government-backed battery recycling Scheme. It’s the safe and simple way to help build a world where no battery goes to waste. For more information visit https://bcycle.com.au/