Press release

New electrolysis plant to secure future of zinc refining

Published on28 Apr 2022

Hobart, Australia, 28 April, 2022 - Nyrstar Australia, a multi-metals processing and manufacturing business that is part of the Trafigura Group, today announced that, with the support of the Federal Coalition and the Tasmanian State Government, it will invest in the construction of a new Electrolysis Plant at the company’s ‘Zinc Works’ operations in Hobart, ensuring a long-term future for metals refining in Australia.


The development of the new electrolysis plant will secure the future of 500 direct jobs in Tasmania and in total approximately 1,600 direct jobs and over 5,000 indirect jobs across Nyrstar’s Australian operations in both Hobart and Port Pirie, the hometowns of Nyrstar Australia’s interlinked operations.


The new Electrolysis Plant will incorporate the latest technology that will enable a step change in the performance of the Zinc Works in Hobart, increasing the competitiveness of high-quality Australian zinc across international markets and enabling greater recovery of minerals and metals at the company’s Port Pirie facility in South Australia.


The project is estimated to require an investment of approximately AU$400 million in total, including the Federal Coalition’s commitment of AU$50 million and Tasmanian Government funding of AU$20 million.


The project will take approximately 28 months from commencement and will employ 200 people at the peak of construction.


Nyrstar’s Vice-President Australian Operations, Dale Webb, said “Nyrstar Australia has received strong support for the development of the new Electrolysis Plant from both within Tasmania and at a national level. Today’s announcement reflects this support and the growing recognition of the critical role that zinc plays in economies around the world, the importance of investing to maximise the value of Australia’s minerals and the ongoing contribution Nyrstar makes to the local economy.


“Zinc is a critical mineral for the transition to a low carbon world, prolonging the useful life of steel in buildings, improving the performance of solar cells and playing a vital role in a wide range of industrial and agricultural uses that are critical to livelihoods and the global economy.


“Hobart’s Zinc Works, as it is known locally, has been operating for over 100 years and works with Nyrstar Australia’s Port Pirie multi-metals refining facility to enable a greater recovery of minerals and metals that are important to global supply chains.


“Tasmania’s renewable energy means that investment in our Hobart operations is also an investment in lower carbon zinc production. In a world seeking to decarbonise that creates a distinct advantage for Australian zinc in an increasingly competitive international market,” he said.


The project has received regulatory approvals from the Environment Protection Authority of Tasmania and the Glenorchy City Council.




For further information, please contact:
Nyrstar Australia: +61 (0) 467 775 055 or


About Nyrstar:
Nyrstar, part of the Trafigura Group, is a global multi-metals business with a market leading position in zinc and lead. Nyrstar has mining, smelting and other operations located in Europe, the United States of America and Australia and employs over 4,000 people. The company’s global operations are located close to key customers and major transport hubs to facilitate delivery of raw materials and distribution of finished products. In July 2019, Nyrstar’s operating business became majority owned by Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies.


Nyrstar Australia is a national multi-metals processing and manufacturing business, operating in Australia for over 100 years to produce zinc, lead, silver and many other materials – minerals that are critical for the manufacture of products used by everyone, every day.


Today Nyrstar Australia employs over 1,300 people across its processing plants in Hobart and Port Pirie that together 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 Zinc:
Zinc has diverse applications and uses, from construction and infrastructure, to transport, industrial machinery, communications, electronics and consumer products. This makes zinc an essential and highly sought-after sustainable resource.


Coating steel in zinc or galvanizing it makes it corrosion resistant. Because of this over 50% of the world’s zinc production goes into construction where it is used extensively in most infrastructure projects around the world. It is also often used to produce car bodies and car parts. Galvanized steel has also contributed significantly to the durability of items such as fridges and washing machines.


Zinc is an important enabler to increase renewable energy production, providing the galvanizing for wind turbines and zinc oxide in newer photovoltaic technology to increase solar cells efficiency.


Many products such as food mixers and mobile phones, toys and recreational equipment contain components made from zinc die casting alloys.


Today Zinc fertilisers are essential for improving the nutritional value of crops and increases crop yields by approximately 40%. Zinc is also an essential element vital for the human body’s processes, supporting growth, maintaining a healthy diet and supporting the human body’s ability to heal injuries.