Nyrstar publishes new report outlining Australia's critical minerals opportunity

Tuesday June 06, 2023

Australia, 6 June 2023 – Nyrstar, a global multi-metals business, has today 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 to become a global leader in critical minerals by increasing its processing of critical and strategic metals.

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.

Trafigura Research estimates show that based on current forecasts, some increased supply could cover roughly half of that increased demand, however there will remain a more than 10 percent shortfall in 2030. A 10 percent shortfall is equivalent to 150 percent of Australia’s entire mined zinc supply or five to six new ‘mega mines’.

Global supply projections outlined in the report also show that despite increased demand for zinc and other metals, there is a significant risk of a global supply shortfall. This risk is being driven by today’s rapid drawdown of existing inventories, the lack of development of new mining and refining projects and an increased concentration of processing in just a few countries.

The white paper indicates that Australia can benefit from the secular shift in metals markets by acting quickly to implement policy foundations that include adding zinc and other industrial metals to a critical minerals list as has happened in the US, Canada and Korea, and by providing support for an increase in the expansion of existing domestic processing facilities of critical and strategic metals.

Nyrstar’s Co-CEO, Dale Webb, said that “metals are central to the energy transition, but their markets are today vulnerable to instability, shock and geopolitical risk. Australia has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to respond to the shift in commodities demand that we are witnessing, and in doing so strengthen the role it plays in providing supply and energy security to South East Asia and the United States.

“Now is the time to leverage Australia’s rich endowment of resources and world-class metals, smelting and refining industry and set a new direction in our critical minerals future, by putting in place the right policy signals to expand and evolve our processing capability.

“Australia can become a significant player in the production of critical minerals and metals in the region, becoming known as a leading supplier of zinc, and as a potential new source for germanium, indium, antimony and cobalt. The strategic and economic opportunity available to the nation is real and one not to be missed,” he said.

Download the white paper here.


For further information, please contact:

Nyrstar Australia: media@nyrstar.com

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 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.

Visit: www.nyrstar.com