Historic Timeline

Our historic timeline

The Zinc Works has been one of Tasmania’s largest industries since 1916.

Nyrstar Zinc Works Hobart had a beginning fraught with difficulties, training employees, establishing the technical process and building the first experimental plant, before developing into a huge industry employing 3000 people, which has been extremely valuable to Tasmania’s economy and society. The Zinc Works had its prosperous periods and also its difficult times – the Depression, the Second World War, the 1970s with their industrial unrest, inflation and problems with pollution, then the 1980s, a period of enormous change.

  • Railway earth works 1/22 1919

    The Government rail line was extended from the abattoirs, slightly north-west of the site, to the works in 1919.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Ten ton leach 2/22 1919

    The first industrial scale plant was called the 10-Ton plant, because it was designed to produce 10 ton of zinc a day. This shows the Leaching section of the 10-Ton plant.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Calcine Bin 3/22 1921

    Calcine is the name for concentrates that have been roasted. For the first 20 years the calcine was shipped in from the mainland and the west coast and stored in these bins.

    Photo: Unknown
  • An early roaster 4/22 1919

    This is an image of Edward's furnace number 2.

    In the early days concentrates were roasted on the mainland, and the product (calcine) was shipped to Tasmania. The calcine was then further roasted  in these furnaces before being sent to the leaching section.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Company Housing Scheme 5/22 1919

    The company constucted houses for employees in 1919.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Woodworking shop 6/22 1920

    A new woodworking shop was built in 1920.

    Photo: Unknown
  • The Leach and 76 foot level 7/22 1921

    Following the success of the 10-ton plant, the plant expanded to 100 tons per day. This is the leaching section built to provide feed for the cell room.

    Photo: Unknown
  • 100 Ton Power - No.s 5&6 Rotary Convertors 8/22 1921

    The rotary convertors provided the DC power required to run the 100-Ton cell room.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Casting Division & Cross Calcine Haulage 9/22 1921

    The Casting Division for the 100-ton plant in 1921. The building at the back is the 100-Ton cellroom.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Phosphate Rock Storage bin 10/22 1924

    Superphosphate manufacure started in 1924 as a use for the sulfuric acid produced on site.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Air Raid Shelter 11/22 1945

    During the Second World War the company constucted air-raid shelters. This one was rediscovered in 1983.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Acid Storage Tanks 12/22 1947

    As the roasting of concentrates was moved to Risdon there was a large increase in acid production.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Amnonia Building 13/22 1951

    In the 1950s the company started making ammonium sulphate, a fertilizer. The Ammonia building was part of the plant.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Electrical Workshop 14/22 1955

    A new electrical workshop was built in 1955.

    Photo: Unknown
  • General Office 15/22 1955

    A new general office was built in 1955.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Blending Station 16/22 1959

    The Blending Station was built in 1959 to give a consistent mix of concentrates to the roasters.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Retifiers 17/22 1960

    Construction of Z1 & Z2 Retifiers for No.5 cell unit in 1960. These were the first solid state rectifiers used on site.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Cell Piers 18/22 1961

    Cell Piers for Electrolysis No.5 Unit being built in 1961.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Residue Treatment Construction 19/22 1969

    Residue treatment tanks under construction in 1969.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Casting Division under construction 20/22 1970

    A new Casting plant was built in 1970.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Wharf Cranes 21/22 1990

    New wharf cranes were installed in the 1990s. One has since been shipped to Port Pirie.

    Photo: Unknown
  • Leach Demolition 22/22 1996

    The old 100-Ton leach plant was demolished in 1996. A pachuca is a tall tank used to dissolve the zinc from calcine.

    Photo: Unknown
1919

The Government rail line was extended from the abattoirs, slightly north-west of the site, to the works in 1919.

Photo: Unknown