Nyrstar’s Port Pirie lead smelter to shut for 55 days

Nyrstar’s Balen smelter operations in Belgium. Image courtesy of Nyrstar NV

Nyrstar’s Port Pirie lead smelter in Australia will shut for 55 days to implement capital expenditure to improve emissions and operational performance, the Belgium-based company said on Tuesday.

Trafigura is a majority owner of Nyrstar, which declined to say how much lead Port Pirie produces. Port Pirie produced 160,000 tonnes of lead in 2018.

Germany’s Stolberg lead plant has not reopened because its sale to Trafigura has not been completed, Nyrstar said last week.

Global lead consumption is estimated by analysts at around 13 million tonnes this year and expectations are for a surplus this year and next.

Benchmark lead on the London Metal Exchange was trading around at $1,877 a tonne. That compares with last week’s $1,746 a tonne, the lowest since June 2020.

(By Pratima Desai; Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter)

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