Zinifex Zinc Smelter – Hobart, Tasmania

The Zinfex zinc works at Lutana, to the north of Hobart city, is the largest exporter in Tasmania, generating 2.5 per cent of the Gross State Product. The zinc smelter has operated for 90 years and produces more than 250,000 tonnes of zinc metal a year.

A study by Dr Bruce Felmingham of the University of Tasmania found that in 2005/2006 the smelter contributed $1 billion to Tasmania’s output, supported 1,400 direct and indirect Tasmanian jobs and generated $93 million in wages income.

Zinc is used in galvanising, diecasting and pharmaceutical products and Zinifex’s output is bought by manufacturing, chemical and engineering companies in Asia.

General Manager Brett Fletcher says that Zinifex has an advantage by being in Tasmania because the lifestyle in the State helps them to attract and retain quality staff.

zinifex is an environmentally-aware company

When Zinifex acquired the Hobart smelter it inherited a legacy of environmental disregard. However, Zinifex has committed itself to a clean up and to improving its performance through best-practice standards.

Since 1992 $20 million has been invested in on-site environmental programs, starting with the construction of an effluent treatment plant that reduced metal emissions into the Derwent River by 98 percent.

A total of $7.5 million is to be spent by Zinifex on environmental projects in 2007. This will include $2 million to further reduce emissions at the Hobart smelter this year.

Stockpiles of about 80,000 tonnes of manganese-dioxide have been removed.

Half a million dollars is to be spent to revegetate hectares of bare land around the smelter site. The initial planting will be 4,500 native trees and 20,000 native grasses.

This report is presented as being of general interest on the state of economic development in Tasmania. It is not intended as investment advice. The author and the owners of T CHANGE do not hold shares in, nor do they derive any benefit whatsoever from the company/companies mentioned in this report.