Nyrstar: Potential Transformation of the Port Pirie Smelter - Media speculation in Australia
Potential Transformation of the Port Pirie Smelter
Media speculation in Australia
12 July 2012
In recent days there has been an increase in media speculation in Australia regarding a potential redevelopment of Nyrstar's Port Pirie smelter and certain related confidential discussions between Nyrstar and the South Australian and Federal Governments in Australia. Whilst discussions are ongoing, recent media coverage contains out-dated information, and a number of inaccuracies that Nyrstar seeks to correct.
Nyrstar is in the early stages of investigating a potential redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter - Nyrstar is in the early stages of investigating the technical and commercial merits of a potential redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter with a view to securing a commercially attractive long term sustainable future for both the Port Pirie site and also the Hobart smelter (the latter relies on Port Pirie to treat its residue product, paragoethite).
Creation of a state of the art metals recovery facility integrated with Nyrstar's global network of zinc smelters - The industrial footprint of the Port Pirie smelter provides Nyrstar with a unique opportunity to potentially redevelop the site and transform the smelter into a state of the art metals recovery facility. A potential redevelopment would utilise technology that would enable the processing and recycling of a wide range of high value, high margin raw materials (including internal residues from Nyrstar's existing global network of zinc smelters, complex lead concentrates and e-waste) and reduce operating costs. A potential redevelopment is also expected to deliver a significantly improved environmental footprint.
Consistent with Nyrstar's stated mission - A potential redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter would be another step in pursuing Nyrstar's stated mission to capture the maximum value inherent in mineral resources through deep market insight and unique processing capabilities. This would further extend Nyrstar's recent capital investments in processing capabilities which has enabled commencement of production of indium metal at the Auby smelter (France) and tellurium dioxide at the Port Pirie smelter; both high margin products that unlock further value from Nyrstar's raw materials.
Capital cost of a potential redevelopment is currently estimated to be in the order of AUD350 million (less than EUR300 million) - Nyrstar's current preliminary estimate of the capital cost of a potential redevelopment is approximately AUD350 million (less than EUR300 million). Nyrstar is in discussions with State and Federal Governments in Australia seeking access to potential financial and non-financial support for a potential redevelopment. These discussions are at a preliminary stage and it is not possible to indicate what the outcome might be.
Significant portion of capital expenditure is not expected to be incurred before 2014/2015 - Should a potential redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter proceed, the related capital expenditure would be incurred over a number of years with the significant portion of the expenditure not expected to be incurred before 2014/2015.
Any potential investment by Nyrstar would be value accretive and would seek to preserve Nyrstar's financial capacity to continue to execute its mining integration strategy - Any investment by Nyrstar in a redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter would only occur on the basis that it was value accretive and generated returns which would meet or exceed Nyrstar's stated investment criteria for upstream acquisitions. Any investment by Nyrstar would, therefore, target returns and operating margins more similar to those of upstream mining assets than to the current smelting returns and margins of the Port Pirie smelter. Furthermore, any investment by Nyrstar in a potential redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter will only be pursued on the basis it preserves Nyrstar's financial capacity to continue to execute its mining integration strategy through value accretive acquisitions.
Nyrstar is working constructively with both the South Australian and Federal Governments in Australia and will provide a further announcement as appropriate.
Nyrstar is an integrated mining and metals business, with market leading positions in zinc and lead, and growing positions in other base and precious metals; essential resources that are fuelling the rapid urbanisation and industrialisation of our changing world. Nyrstar has mining, smelting, and other operations located in Europe, the Americas, China and Australia and employs over 7,000 people. Nyrstar is incorporated in Belgium and has its corporate office in Switzerland. Nyrstar is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels under the symbol NYR. For further information please visit the Nyrstar website, www.nyrstar.com
For further information contact:
Anthony Simms Group Manager Investor Relations T: +41 44 745 8157 M: +41 79 722 2152 email@example.com
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Gail Bartel Manager Corporate Communications T: +61 88 638 1208 M: +61 408 836 421 email@example.com
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Source: Nyrstar via Thomson Reuters ONE