Reporting & Notification Portal

Environmental Consultation,Reporting & Notification Portal

This webpage publicly presents information about our environmental plans and performance consistent with our commitment to transparency.

NYRSTAR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN - COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Nyrstar is developing an Environmental Improvement Programme (EIP). As part of this process, Nyrstar would like to engage the community in the development of this EIP. Suggestions from the community for projects that could be considered to assist in reducing emissions of lead to air, metals to wastewater, groundwater impacts and site amenity are welcomed. While Nyrstar is open to receiving suggestions as part of the EIP engagement process, it reserves the right to consider or reject any suggestions received. A copy of the draft EIP is available from the Nyrstar Port Pirie Environment team POP-DL-Environment@nyrstar.com. Please contact us for further information and with suggestions for the EIP by 23rd October 2020.

Nyrstar’s key Environmental Improvement Projects (EIP) projects fall under four sub-headings;

Nyrstar Air Quality Management Strategy - Lead in Air Projects

Management of air quality is a priority for Nyrstar as a key environmental aspect requiring ongoing operational monitoring and management to ensure Nyrstar continues to meet its legal obligations, expectations of the community and corporate quality standards.

The primary objectives of the Nyrstar Air Quality Management Strategy are to;

  • Reduce the potential for adverse impacts on the community and the environment from emissions to air of lead, sulphur compounds and particulates.
  • Manage and monitor emissions to air including lead, sulphur compounds and particulates.
  • Reduce fugitive emissions of particulates from the site.

The ongoing reduction of lead in air is a key focus area for the business and its new licence to operate which has reduced parameters. As part of Nyrstar’s EIP, numerous projects to achieve the longer term requirements of the new reduced licence limit targets have been, or will commence in coming months. Some of these new projects include (but are not limited to);

  • Installation of a purpose designed chute at the caster tip-end of the Top Submerged Lance (TSL) to capture slag blocks and reduce impact damage, emissions and double handling,
  • Installation of a new environmental hopper on the wharf to reduce emissions generated by loading/unloading activities and
  • Installation of an upgraded wheel wash for all vehicles leaving the site to reduce the transmission of contaminated lead bearing material leaving the site and being transported into the community via road.

Suggestions from the community for projects that could be considered to assist in further reducing emissions of lead to air are welcomed. While Nyrstar is open to receiving external suggestions as part of the EIP engagement process, it reserves the right to consider or reject any suggestions received.

Nyrstar Ground Water Management Strategy – Ground Water Projects

This strategy addresses ground water issues related to the long-term operation of the Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter. Achievement of the objectives of this strategy are closely linked with the Voluntary Site Contamination Assessment Proposal (VSCAP) which was developed with and approved by the EPA and the accredited Site Contamination Auditor.

Some of the primary objectives of the Nyrstar Ground Water Management Strategy include;

  • Reduce potential ongoing impacts and sources of groundwater that have the potential to affect off-site receptors through a program of improving operations and reducing the overall environmental impact of the site and
  • Obtain robust information on groundwater quality and movement.

Better management of potential impacts on groundwater quality is a priority for Nyrstar and as such, Nyrstar has been undertaking parallel programs of improving site operations by reducing or removing potential ongoing sources and employing a site characterisation and remediation program to address potential risks.

As part of Nyrstar’s EIP, numerous projects to achieve the longer term requirements of the new reduced licence limit targets have been, or will commence in coming months. Some of these new projects include (but are not limited to);

  • Upgrade containment in the Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Demolition of the existing copper plant organic sump and the installation of a new pre-cast sump and
  • Resurfacing of the wharf’s Berth 8 in parallel with reprofiling the front 18 metres of Berth 8 and Berth 9 to prevent surface water runoff into the Port Pirie River.

Suggestions from the community for projects that could be considered to assist further improve Nyrstar’s ground water management are welcomed. While Nyrstar is open to receiving external suggestions as part of the EIP engagement process, it reserves the right to consider or reject any suggestions received.

Surface Water Quality Management Strategy - Wastewater Metals Projects

This strategy addresses surface water quality issues related to the operation of the Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter. The smelter is in close proximity to sensitive receptors and as it is within the Port Pirie River catchment, much of the natural drainage from the site is directed to the Port Pirie River and parts of the western most portion of the smelter naturally drain to Spencer Gulf. The site run off is collected in a stormwater system that drains to a sedimentation pond to minimise contaminates entering the environment by settling out solids. The water from the sedimentation pond discharges via First creek to Spencer Gulf and is monitored by the EPA via licence conditions.

Some of the primary objectives of the Nyrstar Surface Water Quality Management Strategy include;

  • Reduce potential impacts on the marine and fresh water environments
  • Improve materials handling and storage to reduce the risk of potentially contaminated runoff and
  • Manage the quality of surface water discharge from the sedimentation pond to reduce the risk of adverse impact to offsite surface water environments.

Surface water quality is a priority for Nyrstar and as such, ongoing operational management and monitoring measures will continue to be implemented.

As part of Nyrstar’s EIP, numerous projects to achieve the longer term requirements of the new reduced licence limit targets have been, or will commence in coming months. Some of these new projects include (but are not limited to);

  • Purchase of new on site road sweepers to increase effectiveness and efficiencies with dust removal and
  • Resurfacing of site roads to significantly improve cleaning and remove fugitive dust.

Suggestions from the community for projects that could be considered to assist further improve Nyrstar’s waste water management are welcomed. While Nyrstar is open to receiving external suggestions as part of the EIP engagement process, it reserves the right to consider or reject any suggestions received.

Natural Resources Management Strategy - Waste and Demolition Projects

This strategy addresses Natural Resources Management issues related to the operation of the Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter. A specific focus area is regarding waste management (including in particular resource recovery and waste reduction) and how Nyrstar intends to manage on site waste according to the waste management hierarchy.

Additionally a key objective of the Natural Resources Management Strategy is to implement sustainability initiatives related to water, energy, vegetation, carbon emissions and waste. A key focus for the site is to ensure that all process and general waste generated by the operation is efficiently managed to ensure legal compliance, eco-efficiency, pollution prevention and a high standard of site aesthetics.

As part of Nyrstar’s EIP, numerous projects to achieve the longer term requirements of the new reduced licence limit targets have been, or will commence in coming months. Some of these new projects include (but are not limited to);

  • The commissioning of a new site waste facility.
  • Processing and recycling 12,000 tonnes of concrete and 1,000 tonnes of site black sand to construct 2,500 concrete blocks (each weighing 1.2 tonnes) for bunker construction, the recycled concrete in combination with black sand will also be used on site for road base
  • The demolition of 8 redundant/old buildings on site at a cost of approximately AUD 2M in 2021, starting with the old acid plant.

Nyrstar will continue to focus on reducing its environmental footprint through the recycling of site waste. From October 2019 to September 2020 the site recycled 2,001 tonnes of scrap metal, 24 tonnes of paper (as a paper mache dust suppressant to stockpiles), 4.3 tonnes (approximately 178,000) bottles and cans, 29 tonnes of carboard, 143 kl of waste oil and 14.9 tonnes blue booties (overshoes to minimise exposure) to energy recovery.

Suggestions from the community for projects that could be considered to assist further improve Nyrstar’s waste and demolition management are welcomed. While Nyrstar is open to receiving external suggestions as part of the EIP engagement process, it reserves the right to consider or reject any suggestions received.

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1.    Consultation on our environmental plans and projects
1.1. Environmental Management Plans

At Nyrstar Port Pirie, we prepare a range of plans covering environmental management. The following plans are in preparation and will be provided for your information when complete;

  • Community Engagement Plan
  • Dust Management Plan
  • Lead in Air Monitoring and Reporting Plan
  • Ground Level Particulate and Sulphur Dioxide Monitoring and Reporting Plan
  • Lead in Air Monitoring and Reporting Plan
1.2. Environment Improvement Programme

We would like stakeholder input into our Environment Improvement Programme to lodge with SA Environment Protection Authority. This will include specific actions to reduce emissions to air, land and water and to continually improve our environmental performance. A draft will be posted on this page when complete.

Please contact us by email on POP-DL-Environment@nyrstar.com to find out more or provide us with input.

1.3. Changes at the Site or Trials

NOTIFICATION: 15/9/2020: DIG-OUT OF BASIN AND FIRST CREEK -  Nyrstar Port Pirie has commenced a dig-out of the Sedimentation Basin which is expected to be completed within 3 weeks. The use of a silt curtain will minimise the risk of any short term turbidity in the waste-water discharge during this exercise. No adverse impacts on people or the environment are expected. The dig-out is, however, expected to significantly improve the quality of the discharge water with benefits continuing for at least 6 months.

NOTIFICATION: 31/8/2020: Nyrstar Port Pirie is planning to conduct a trial on the use of clay to reduce metal concentrations in the wastewater discharge. Our laboratory test-work has indicated that a very small volume of clay at a concentration of about 1 part per 100,000 can remove a large portion of the dissolved metals in wastewater. We have EPA for approval to run the trial which has minimal environmental risk and great potential benefit. This trial will have no impact on the community.

2.    Environmental Performance Reports

The following reports provide an overview of our environmental performance:

  • Quarterly Environment Report
  • Annual Environment Report

If you would like more information please feel free contact us on  POP-DL-Environment@nyrstar.com

3.    Community Notifications

Monitoring data is publicly available on:  Pi in the Sky website click here

3.1. Water Quality Notifications

Water quality is above the reporting threshold for Copper at the ‘1M Flume’, which is the point of discharge to First Creek.

Nyrstar has a project underway and expects the issue to be resolved in the first half of 2021.

3.2. Air Quality Notifications

3.2.1. Lead in Air Limits

Lead in air concentration was under the 0.4 µg/m3 annual average limit at both the Pirie West and Oliver Street compliance monitors on 30 September 2020.

3.2.2. Lead in Air Targets

Annual Average

Lead-in-air at the Ellen Street monitor was over the 1.6 µg/m3 annual average target on 30 September 2020.

Lead-in-air at the Boat Ramp monitor was over the 0.6 µg/m3 annual average target on 30 September 2020.

Three-Month Average

Lead-in-air at the Ellen Street monitor was over the 2.2ug/m3 three-month average target on 30 September 2020.

Lead-in-air at the Boat Ramp monitor was below the 1.0ug/m3 three-month average target on 30 September 2020.

Lead-in-air at the Oliver Street monitor was below and the Pirie West monitor was above the 0.45 µg/m3 three-month average target on 30 September 2020.

3.2.3. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Investigations

Daily Average

There have not been any exceedances of the 0.08 ppm 24-hour average investigation trigger.

Annual Average

There have not been any exceedances of the 0.02 ppm 12-month average investigation trigger.

3.2.4. Dust (PM10) Investigations

The average daily concentration of dust at the Boat Ramp TEOM on Monday 7th September was 133 µg/m3  which is higher than the 50 µg/m3  NEPM target. Dust was mobilised by very strong wind gusts to 12 m/s which were experienced at around 12:30 pm on Monday 7/09/2020. There were no visible plant emissions during the regional dust storm that occurred at this time.

The average daily concentration of dust at the Boat Ramp TEOM on Wednesday 2nd September was 58 µg/m3  which is higher than the 58 µg/m3  NEPM target. Dust was mobilised by very strong wind gusts to 14 m/s which were experienced in the early hours of the morning.

Average PM10 dust at the boat ramp on Saturday 29th August was 94 µg/m3 which is higher than the 50 µg/m3 licensed target. This high result was a consequence of a regional dust storm that occurred at around 3pm.

4.    Contact for more information

We are happy to share this information with the community to promote transparency and engagement. For more information on any of the plans or reports listed above, or if you would like more information about any of the data or notifications referenced here, please contact:

POP-DL-Environment@nyrstar.com


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