The State Government has this afternoon concluded initial formal discussions with Nyrstar representatives, including global CEO Hilmar Rode, regarding repayment of a taxpayer-guaranteed $291.25 million loan for its Port Pirie smelter operations.
Treasurer Rob Lucas described today’s four-hour meeting as ‘productive’, with Nyrstar confirming its commitment to make a $10 million distribution payment early next week.
This is in addition to an $8 million distribution payment it made in May.
“We are pleased, as a result of further discussions with company representatives today, Nyrstar confirmed its commitment to make a $10 million distribution payment next week,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“But there is still much more work to be done as lawyers and advisors will seek to negotiate the details of any possible agreement.
“The Government and Nyrstar will hold ongoing discussions, targeting a mutually-binding agreement within the first quarter of next year.
“If a mutually-binding agreement can be finalised, subject to approval by Cabinet and Nyrstar’s Board, the company has agreed to then make a payment of $20 million on the outstanding principal.
“Both the Government and Nyrstar understand the importance of these discussions for the people of Port Pirie, the smelter’s employees and their families.
“It is hoped that these discussions will provide some stability to the Port Pirie community and both parties will provide further updates where appropriate as the ongoing discussions take place.
“The Government also remains committed to protecting the interests of the taxpayers of South Australia in relation to the $291.25 million guarantee for the project.”