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Transformed Port Pirie lead smelter to be fully operational by end of 2016

Nyrstar has announced a $514 million upgrade to its 120-year-old Port Pirie smelter operations.

The ABC reports that the Dutch company will finish the upgrade by the end of 2016, with $291 million to be underwritten by the South Australian government.

"Today we announce that agreement has been secured for a $514 million investment by Nyrstar which will be underpinned by the South Australian Government providing a guarantee to transform this smelter and secure a future for Nyrstar here in Port Pirie," Premier Jay Weatherill said at a conference late last week.

The smelter will see great upgrades to its efficiency and environmental friendliness. There was also a 10-year, $50 million lead abatement program announced by Weatherill.

Nyrstar has also announced that it will end zinc production at Port Pirie by the end of the July, with the cost of production higher than at any other site it owns.

"The funding agreement gives us the certainty we need to move forward and transform Nyrstar Port Pirie into an advanced metal recovery and refining facility that will benefit all our employees, the Port Pirie community and our investors," said CEO Roland Junck.

"We remain on track with work on site for this year, construction work to begin early next year and the facility to be fully operational by the end of 2016."


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