Public meeting to discuss Bill providing regulatory certainty for $350m Nyrstar project

01/07/2013

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Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon is tonight attending a public meeting in Port Pirie to discuss legislation before State Parliament providing Nyrstar with regulatory certainty for the company's proposed $350-million smelter transformation.

"Tonight's meeting - organised by the Member for Frome, Geoff Brock - provides an opportunity for the people of Port Pirie to hear about the legislation's content and intention from the government and industry experts, " Mr Kenyon said.

The meeting will also be attended by Nyrstar's General Manager, Port Pirie, Glenn Poynter, the Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy, Paul Heithersay and the Director, Public Health, SA Health, Kevin Buckett.

Mr Kenyon said providing regulatory certainty was a cornerstone of the landmark agreement reached last December between the Commonwealth Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), the State Government and Nyrstar.

"This will assist the company to obtain investor support for the proposed transformation project to upgrade the company's smelter to a cleaner state-of-the-art poly-metallic processing and recovery facility," Mr Kenyon said.

"The transformation will replace the smelter's existing and aged facility with modern state-ofthe-art and proven processing technology.

"This will result in Nyrstar's Port Pirie facility significantly improving its environmental performance, as well as allowing the company to be more flexible in the recovery and delivery of a broader range of products into the metals market.

"Without the regulatory certainty provided by this legislation, the investment in the transformation project and the subsequent health and economic benefits for the people of Port Pirie will not happen," Mr Kenyon said.

"A transformed facility, supported by operating licence certainty provides a long-term sustainable future for the facility and the local community.

"The Port Pirie Smelting Facility (Lead-In-Air Concentrations) Bill 2013 sets the maximum lead-in-air conditions under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) operating licence after completion of the project.

"Under the legislation, those emission levels cannot be varied by the EPA for a period of 10 years without Ministerial approval.

"Another provision of the legislation modifies the law of state so that any requirement for Nyrstar to reduce lead-in-air levels does not apply for the same 10 year period.

"These provisions have been included to provide an appropriate level of certainty necessary to ensure Nyrstar and its investors can commit to the massive investment needed to achieve the smelter's transformation.

"This legislation is another important step towards transforming the company's operations and follows the State Government's $5 million contribution towards a feasibility study for the proposed upgrade," Mr Kenyon said.

"The feasibility study - expected to be completed by the end of this year - will provide the technical information required by Nyrstar to evaluate a final investment case.

"The funding for the study - along with the State Government's Major Project Status for the proposed upgrade - is providing Nyrstar with the support necessary to advance towards a final decision on this major investment in the future of Port Pirie.

"We'll continue to work closely with the company and the Federal Government towards putting together a final transformation package that can be signed off by the Nyrstar Board in early 2014.

"In parallel with the smelter upgrade, a Targeted Lead Abatement Program is being developed for Port Pirie with a focus on further reducing exposure in the community and ensure children's blood lead levels continue to be as low as possible," Mr Kenyon said.