Nyrstar and the State Government have announced that they will build a product recycling facility at the smelters to significantly reduce lead levels and vastly improve the long-term health of the Port Pirie community with a focus on lowering blood lead levels in children.
Construction on the new $23 million facility will commence early next year and it will create more jobs for the region and is expected to reduce lead emissions by up to 25 per cent.
Premier Steven Marshall said "I'm incredibly proud that Nyrstar and my Government have joined forces to take action to deal decisively with lead emissions and improve the health of the children of Port Pirie."
"This outstanding initiative will create 75 jobs at the peak of construction and sustain hundreds of jobs over the life of the project, delivering a significant economic boost for Port Pirie's economy."
The new 6,850 square metre structure (equivalent to more than five Olympic sized swimming pools) will store and transport feedstock materials along a covered conveyor belt to the furnace.
The facility will eliminate dust generated from exposed material stockpiles and in handling and transporting materials at the site.
The building will also be negatively pressured to contain fine dust particles.
Nyrstar's Vice President Australian Operations Dale Webb has thanked the State Government for allocating $7 million to the project.
"We thank the State Government for their support of our actions to make a significant and sustained reduction to lead in air concentrations in the community," Mr Webb said.
"This will fundamentally change how we do business on site and permanently reduce our lead in air emissions.
"We value the partnership approach to improving the health of the local community which we see as vital to securing a stronger future for metal processing in South Australia."
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan Van Holst Pellekaan said the recycling facility is another significant investment that will effect real change to reduce lead in blood levels of children in Port Pirie.
"Reducing lead in air requires a comprehensive approach that involves Nyrstar, the local council and the community working with the State Government to deliver a multi-pronged solution," said Minister Pellekaan.
"We're going to see the results lower before the facility is built because its not only the facility that we're doing, we're already working with 43 Housing SA tenants to make their homes free of lead exposure. We are already seeing reduction in lead in blood for infants in those homes.
"We have listened to the community and improved the governance of TLAP by including representation from the local council and a TLAP community reference group."
Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024.