A NSW Government website

Environmental Service Group

Pasminco, Boolaroo Former Smelter

Project facts

Project area

  • 92 Hectares


Former Cockle Creek Smelter, Boolaroo

Local government area

Lake Macquarie City Council


Total Rehabilitation Budget Approximately: $50 to $60 million

Annual Management Cost: up to $1.2 million

Housing and Property Group

The Property & Development NSW (PDNSW) team is responsible for the management and delivery of large scale or complex real estate projects and transactions.

What is proposed / site history?

The site previously operated as a lead and zinc smelter from 1897 to 2004.

In order to remediate the site, contaminated soil (impacted by heavy metals, lead and zinc) generated from the smelting works were encapsulated in containment cells. The cells occupy approximately 22 hectares (out of the 92 hectares) and contain approximately 1.9 million m3 of contaminated soil.

Waste Assets Management Corporation (WAMC)was considered the most suitable government agency for the ongoing management of the waste containment cell.

Responsibility for environmental management at the former Pasminco smelter site transferred to WAMC in October 2019.

Project objectives

To ensure the integrity of the cell and adjoining lands WAMC performs:

  • Vegetation management
  • Inspection and repair of capping
  • Stormwater and ground water management
  • Collection and treatment of leachate
  • Environmental Monitoring as per Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) requirements

WAMC will reduce maintenance costs by:

  • Undertaking management, maintenance and monitoring activities internally
  • Utilising extensive experience with leachate extraction and treatment systems to optimise the existing system
  • Utilise in-house knowledge of landform capping and rehabilitation methods to maintain and manage the site and surrounding environmental zones

Non-financial benefits

  • Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) is responsible for the sale of 70ha of land under Lake Macquarie Smelter Site (Perpetual Care of Land) Act 2019
  • The site is currently being subdivided into industrial, commercial and residential lots by HCCDC

Financial benefits

Revenue from the sale of land (by HCCDC) will be used for ongoing environmental management of the remaining contamination at the site.

Working together

WAMC is working with HCCDC and Lake Macquarie Council to develop a safe strategy for opening public access to sections of Munibung Hill.

Surface soils on the WAMC controlled areas of the hill are impacted by heavy metals which were deposited during operation of the Smelter. Due to access limitations, remediation is not practical, therefore WAMC is exploring options to safely open some tracks for public access to the hill.

Contact us

For further information email:



the Pasminco - Boolaroo Former Smelter PDF (coming soon)