The Albanese Government is strengthening Tasmania and the nation’s manufacturing capability, providing $50 million to Nyrstar to modernise its Hobart zinc smelter.
This investment will be delivered in next week’s Budget, fulfilling a Labor election commitment.
Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said the Nyrstar Hobart zinc smelter is an important contributor to the Tasmanian economy, securing local jobs.
Minister Husic said: “This investment will help strengthen Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability of valuable metals necessary to our transition to net zero by 2050.”
The measure will support a $400 million modernisation of the plant.
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Nyrstar says this will secure the long-term sustainability of 650 jobs in Hobart and a further thousand jobs at the linked Nyrstar operations in Port Pirie, South Australia.
Further, the company says the facility will support jobs for more than 5000 people in direct supply chain companies in Tasmania and regional South Australia.
“Nyrstar plays a vital role in the production and supply of metals such as zinc, lead, silver and copper,” Minister Husic said.
“This upgrade will create an advanced manufacturing facility, helping to secure a long-term future for zinc metal refining in Australia.”
Mr Husic said the Albanese Government was focused on ensuring a greater share of our raw materials are processed in Australia. About 90% of Nyrstar’s raw material zinc for processing comes from Australian sources.
He said: “We want to build a stronger and more resilient future and that includes adding value at home, delivering secure well-paid jobs and skilling up for the technologies of the future.
“Our investment in Nyrstar is one part of building that capability, with more to come through our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.”
Zinc is a vital input for critical supply chains, including renewable energy infrastructure, construction materials and anti-corrosion coatings on steel.
Tasmanian Labor Senators and Federal Members of Parliament welcomed the announcement.
“This is a fantastic investment for Southern Tasmania supporting secure, well-paid jobs,” said the Tasmanian Federal Labor Team.
“This commitment will help secure direct local jobs in Hobart and surrounds, and will help future-proof this vital industry for the region.”
The project will commence late in 2022 with construction expected to take 28 months and finish in 2024-25.
Both the Commonwealth and State Government will provide funds to support the project.