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Port Pirie lead smelter upgrade a must, Weatherill says
30/07/2012 - The 120-year-old lead smelting operations at Port Pirie needs an upgrade to make it a cleaner and healthier plant, Premier Jay Weatherill says.
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The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has given Nyrstar a new five-year operating licence, but imposed new conditions including enforceable limits for air quality.
Weatherill says the guidelines give his government a clearer path to secure reinvestment in the plant.
"Nyrstar clearly will need to invest in new technology to achieve the objectives set out in the new licensing conditions agreed with the EPA," he said on Friday.
"There is no denying the importance of the smelter to Port Pirie and the entire Spencer Gulf region; the town would struggle to survive without it," he said.
"It is vitally important Nyrstar finds a way to reinvest in what will not only be a cleaner, healthier plant, but also an investment in a long-term, secure future for the workers and people of Port Pirie."
Opposition Industry and Trade spokesman Steven Marshall says Labor has been moving too slowly to work with Nyrstar on a plan and it was time the premier told the people of Port Pirie how they would secure the future of the Nyrstar operation.
Weatherill says a steering committee is continuing to investigate options for securing the resources required by Nyrstar to finance that investment in a way that will underpin the continued future of the Port Pirie plant.
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