Zinifex was an Australian company which operated two zinc and lead mines, three zinc refineries and a lead smelter.

It was a subsequent owner of operations earlier operated by the Electrolytic Zinc company.

It was created following the insolvency of Pasminco in 2002, taking on Pasminco operations.

In 2008 it merged with Oxiana Limited to form OZ Minerals.


Zinifex was the refloated company of the failed zinc miner Pasminco. Pasminco called in administrators in September 2001,[1] and was declared bankrupt after it made unfavourable hedge positions that contributed to the company's insolvency.[2] As part of the insolvency process the company was refloated with new management as Zinifex. Since floating on the ASX it has been extremely successful mainly due to the company keeping no hedges in place, and benefiting from the massive rise in the zinc price. The share price has risen from $1.80 in April 2004 to over $18 in December 2006.[3]

On 1 July 2008, Zinifex merged with Oxiana. Soon after, the merged entity took the name, OZ Minerals.[4]


Above-ground workings at the Rosebery mine in Rosebery, Tasmania

Zinifex Limited was engaged in minerals exploration, production and smelting to produce zinc and lead concentrates, and zinc, lead and silver metals together with various alloys and byproducts, and the marketing of these products. The segments of the Company include Century Mine in north western Queensland, a large open cut zinc, lead and silver mine, operating on a mining lease that it has secured for at least the life of the mine; Rosebery Mine, a medium-sized underground zinc, lead, silver, gold and copper mine located on the west coast of Tasmania in Australia; Port Pirie Smelter, a primary lead smelting facility; Australian Refined Alloys, an acid battery and lead recycling business owned 50% by Zinifex; Budel Smelter, an electrolytic smelter, and Clarksville Smelter, a modern smelter to access a large portion of the United States zinc market.

Zinifex operates in Australia, Europe and the United States of America.

In December 2006, Zinifex announced it would merge its smelting operations with those of Umicore,[5] with the intent of eventually floating the new company Nyrstar. This would leave Zinifex as purely a mining company.[6][7][8] Nyrstar was floated in October 2007, with the initial public offering being valued at A$3.6 billion.[9]

In early 2007, a number of incidents affected Zinifex: The Port Pirie smelter had a steam explosion in February[10] and an explosion when moisture contacted molten copper in March.[11] It also had a loading barge used to export ore from the Century Mine damaged in a cyclone.[12]

The zinc works at Lutana
The zinc works at Lutana is the largest exporter in Tasmania, generating 2.5% of the state's GDP. It produces over 250,000 tonnes of zinc per year.[13]


  1. ^ "Welcome to Pasminco — history". Pasminco. 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "How poor choices Savaged Pasminco". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 July 2002. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Zinifex Limited — Historical prices". Yahoo!7 Finance. Retrieved 2 December 2006. 
  4. ^ "Zinifex, Oxiana merge into OZ Minerals". Sydney Morning Herald. 16 June 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Zinifex to merge smelting operations with Umicore". ABC News. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Zinifex and Umicore seek to create the world's leading producer of zinc metal, Nyrstar". Zinifex Limited. ASX. 12 December 2006. Archived from the original on 25 March 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "Zinifex, Umicore to combine zinc assets as Nyrstar on the 1st september 2007". The Age. Melbourne. 9 January 2007. 
  8. ^ "Port Pirie smelter changes from Zinifex to Nyrstar". ABC News. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Zinifex, Umicore unveil Nyrstar float". The Age. Melbourne. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Ali Moore (6 February 2007). "Zinifex explosion forces lead smelter shutdown". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Work resumes at Zinifex smelter". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2007. 
  12. ^ "Zinifex sees no cost from damaged ship". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2007. 
  13. ^ "The Zinc Works". TChange. Retrieved 11 July 2009.