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.
Zinifex was the refloated company of the failed zinc miner Pasminco. Pasminco called in administrators in September 2001, and was declared bankrupt after it made unfavourable hedge positions that contributed to the company's insolvency. 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.
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, with the intent of eventually floating the new company Nyrstar. This would leave Zinifex as purely a mining company. Nyrstar was floated in October 2007, with the initial public offering being valued at A$3.6 billion.
In early 2007, a number of incidents affected Zinifex: The Port Pirie smelter had a steam explosion in February and an explosion when moisture contacted molten copper in March. It also had a loading barge used to export ore from the Century Mine damaged in a cyclone.