Nyrstar Lead Smelter Shutdown Contract Works

Project Overview

Nyrstar Port is a global multi-metals business, with a market leading position in zinc and lead and growing positions in other base and precious metals, such as copper, gold and silver. Nyrstar has six smelters, one fumer and four mining operations, located in Europe, Australia and North America.

Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Smelter is located on the eastern shore of the Spencer Gulf in South Australia, approximately 200km north of Adelaide. There is an adjacent dedicated port facility where concentrates are received, with final products dispatched by road and rail. The smelter comprises of a top submerged lance furnace, sinter plant, blast furnace and lead refinery, slag fuming leach, electrowin copper, and solvent extraction and electrowinning (SE-EW) plant producing commodity grade lead, copper cathode, silver and gold, and sulphuric acid. Port Pirie is one of the world’s largest primary lead smelting facilities and the third largest silver producer.

McMahon Services provides on-going 24/7 industrial services and labour hire to the general operation of the Nyrstar Lead Smelter in Port Pirie. Between October 2011 to October 2018 the project team has delivered over 660 packages of works ranging from roof repairs and replacement, to soil disposal, waste oil remediation, installation of air locks, construction of concrete ramps and bund walls, concrete pads, installing boiler cladding, line marking, fencing, building repairs, dam repairs, demolition works, asbestos removal, installation of footings, tank works, office fit outs, pipe works, line marking, earthworks, structural works, tree removal, service relocations, road works, wharf works and electrical works.

Works are often conducted in and around high-risk work areas such as the arsenic dams, copper plant, zinc plant, cadmium plant, acid plant, blast furnaces and mercury tanks, each with their own intrinsic safety and environmental risks. The project team develops safe work method statements and job safety environmental analysis for all tasks before completing any works, which are reviewed and assessed by Nyrstar safety teams before implementation. This system significantly reduces the likelihood of safety and environmental incidents on site.

As well as ongoing site works, McMahon Services team also develops strategies, project management plans and ultimately implement scheduled plant shutdowns. Shutdowns have mobilised up to 110 skilled personnel providing continuous works over two shifts rotated every 12 hours. Durations of shutdowns range between 10 to 22 days.

Over one million work hours have been completed on site since the project commenced.

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