Nyrstar welcomes Australia's Critical Minerals Strategy

Tuesday June 20, 2023

Australia, 20 June 2023 – Nyrstar, a global multi-metals business employing more than 1300 Australians in South Australia and Tasmania, today welcomed the release of Australia’s new Critical Minerals Strategy, emphasising the importance of swift recognition of zinc’s contribution to achieving Australia’s critical minerals vision.

The Government’s emphasis on strengthening Australia’s processing of critical minerals and the priority given to updating the existing Critical Minerals List to take into account global strategic changes, represents significant progress in securing Australia’s energy transition.

Additionally, recognition that critical minerals industries may need transitional support to deliver metals needed for Australia’s low carbon future is timely.

Earlier this month, Nyrstar released a white paper highlighting the significant impact that renewable energy growth was having on international markets for metals, and the unique opportunity this presented Australia to increase its processing of strategic metals and become a global leader in critical minerals.

Nyrstar’s Co-CEO, Dale Webb, said that “the world is seeing a disruption in traditional markets for commodities like we have not seen before. Tackling disruption requires a different approach and this is what we have seen with the Critical Minerals Strategy’s new and welcome emphasis on processing as a key part of Australia’s critical minerals endeavour.

“A step-change in the growth of critical minerals and metals processing would be significant in ensuring Australia moves beyond a traditional extract and export approach to resources. Targeted support to expand existing infrastructure and modernise our metals processing can support the stability of supply of minerals and metals critical to the production of low emissions technologies, and at the same time deliver greater economic benefit from the extraction of Australia’s resources,” he said.

The company endorsed the establishment of a process to update Australia’s Critical Minerals List that was identified as a key action in the Critical Minerals Strategy.

Nyrstar’s recent white paper indicated that Australia would benefit from significant growth in demand for metals driven by low emissions technologies by acting quickly to add zinc and other industrial metals to a critical minerals list as has happened in the US, Canada and Korea. Research referenced in the whitepaper showed that by 2030, annual global demand for zinc will grow by 20 percent from where it is today.

“A review of Australia’s Critical Minerals List is timely. And the focus on updating the List to take into account global strategic changes is important as it will allow Australia to ensure alignment with key allies and geopolitical changes,” said Mr Webb.

“Australia needs to go beyond investing in the supply of traditional battery materials and explore the full range of renewable energy technologies and the type and volume of minerals and metals that their growth will demand. Zinc is one of those metals that is playing an increasingly important role in the world because of its requirement in the development of renewable energy technologies and its ability to unlock other critical minerals like germanium and indium.

“We look forward to providing input into the review of Australia’s Critical Minerals List. But Australia must move quickly as key metals central to delivering the growth in renewable energy are today being drawn down at increasing pace, while supply is becoming more and more concentrated in just a few countries.”

View or download Nyrstar Australia’s White Paper here.


For further information, please contact:

Nyrstar Australia: +61 (0) 467 775 055 or 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