Eventually we walked onto the Nyrstar wharf, after sometimes successfully dodging water sprays to keep the dust down. Here I was able to look upstream and enjoy the expanse of the Derwent River, and to recognise the Bowen Bridge and Mount Direction in the distance.
We passed equipment such as the dust measurer shown below.
At the western end I was able to look past the big sheds of the INCAT boat building industry over Prince of Wales Bay and see Technopark perched on top of Dowsing Point.
A view looking across the Derwent River to the inlet where the first European settlers set up camp in 1803 is shown below:
Looking back downstream the river and landscape appeared as follows:
I also enjoyed walking through parts of the large industrial site for the geometric shapes of the structures and for the various vintages of buildings. Most of all, similarly to my feelings about the Hydro Tasmania structures in the upper Derwent Valley and beyond, I admired the pioneering and massive engineering works that created the manmade parts of the site.
I was surprised at the extent of chemical hazards which need good management; associated with the zinc smelting process are dangerous chemicals such as mercury, cadmium and lead. During the walk I learnt a great deal about the attitude of the business towards instituting and maintaining good environmental practices. In addition, I was shown revegetated expanses and different buildings which prioritise care for the environment and make it a reality. Seeing and experiencing all of this was much more than I expected, and I remain immensely grateful for the time and interest given by my excellent host Todd.
In a special showcase at Nyrstar’s Reception, plaques and various awards are clustered together. One example, a National River Prize, was presented by the International River Foundation in 2010 to the Derwent Estuary Program, of which Nyrstar is a founding member. A list of the Australian winners that year can be read here and if you refer to page eight, more information about Nyrstar and the Derwent estuary is available. My photo below includes that framed paper award with another sculptural award sitting in front.
Overall, I was delighted to be able to fill a gap in my walk along the Derwent River, on this private property. I am indebted to friend Clinton for his connections with Nyrstar that helped to make the walk a reality. Especial thanks to my thoughtful host Todd, and to Nyrstar.