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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Australasia: October 1st 2008


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:: Ausmelt to Suspend Operations at Whyalla Smelter

Ausmelt Ltd has announced that it will suspend operations at its smelter in Whyalla, South Australia.

Managing Director Mr Paul Abbott said today the Whyalla operation had been made uneconomic by recent significant declines in zinc prices and a substantial increase in the price of coal which was the major fuel input into the process.

Mr Abbott said these unfavourable price movements had been compounded by continuing problems with equipment at the plant, although the Company had resolved many of these issues.

The plant will be kept on a care and maintenance basis in the hope that opportunities will emerge to re-open it in the future.

The Company is investigating a range of alternative uses for the plant. While many of these show some potential, it is not expected that any of them will lead to an early reopening.

Ausmelt wishes to thank all personnel at Whyalla for their outstanding performance, loyalty and commitment over the past twelve months and regrets the need to suspend operations at the present time.




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