September 16, 2019 / 6:56 AM / a month ago

Nyrstar temporarily reopens old lead plant in South Australia

MELBOURNE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Belgium's Nyrstar has temporarily reopened an old lead processing plant in the state of South Australia after receiving a permit from the state's environmental protection authority (EPA), it said on Monday.

Nyrstar, which was taken over by global trading house Trafigura in late July, had shut down its modern lead smelter furnace in Port Pirie, Australia, after an incident in early August in a second disruption at the plant this year.

Port Pirie had suffered an unplanned outage at the site's blast furnace in June and July that disrupted its shipments to customers, as the smelter operator ramped up new production facilities.

"Discussions regarding the option to restart the Sinter Plant with the EPA have now concluded and approval has been given to cover this current... shut down period," Nyrstar said in a statement.

"This approval has been given by the EPA conditional on the basis of a range of controls which we are confident will ensure that the current low level of emissions are sustained."

Sinter lead production began on Aug. 26, it said. It was not clear how long it would take to fix and restart the new plant.

Port Pirie produced 160,000 tonnes of lead in 2018, according to data on Nyrstar's website. (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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