Client: Western Downs Contracting

Sun Metals Zinc Refinery – Townsville, North QLD


Located 15 km south of the city of Townsville in North Queensland sits one of Australia largest Zinc refineries, owned and operated by the Korea Zinc Company the Sun Metals Corporation in Australia has an annual production of approx. 225,000 tonnes of special high grade zinc metal.

In December 2018, the Sunmetals Zinc Corporation with the support of the Queensland government announced a $300 million expansion to their refinery with the outcome of the investment expected to increase the refinery’s zinc production 17% from 225,000 tonnes per year to 270,000 tonnes. 

The $300M investment represents a significant opportunity for both the Sunmetals Corporation and Queensland economy with 350 jobs created during the construction phase and an additional 100 permanent operational positions created once the project is completed by mid-2021.


The expansion project aims to deliver new facilities at the existing Sun Metals Corporation zinc refinery, including:

  • A new electrolysis building, ferric oxide facilities, and leaching and purification areas.
  • The electrolysis and ferric oxide facilities are being constructed to support and replace the existing structures, while the leaching and purification works will assist in accommodating more volume through the plant.
  • These works underpin the work required to increase production overall by 17% at the plant.


  • Location: Townsville, North Queensland
  • Overall project value: $300 Million
  • Timeline: 2019 – 2021
  • Lead Sub Contractor for Structures Package: Western Downs Contracting



  • Full turnkey solution in relation to the engineering and design of the main body of works in relation to the Electrolysis Building for Western Downs Contracting.
  • The coordination and supply of over 2,300 tonnes of Acrow Supercuplok and Acrow’s modular formwork system, approx. 1450 tonnes of Supercuplok mobilised from Brisbane with 850 tonnes delivered direct from overseas into Townsville.
  • Dedicated yard in Townville to facilitate the movement of tonnes to and from site.
  • Workflow modelling in relation to the labour required on site including the supply of top up of labour direct to the Western Downs Contracting.
  • Site Inspections and Engineering sign off.
  • Engineering, design and supply of equipment to Barrier Reef Contracting for the construction of 29 leaching, purification and ferric oxide tanks on site.
  • Full turn key solution in relation to the design, the supply of scaffold and labour on site direct to New World Engineering and Construction for perimeter access in relation to the Structural, Mechanical and Pipe facility.
  • 24-hour support from our team of in-house Engineers.
  • Over 650 hours of design time invested into the project across all Sub-Contractors engaged on site.


  • Western Downs Contracting
  • New World Engineering and Construction
  • Barrier Reef Contracting
  • Stueler


  • 2300 tonnes of Acrow Supercuplok
  • Modular formwork system
  • Slim lite Soldiers
  • Quickstage Scaffolding for perimeter access.
  • AW-80 Panels for column forms
  • Acrow GASS
  • Acrow V Shore Frames


The synergies created following the acquisition of the Uni-span business in November 2019, from both an equipment and engineering perspective, positioned the Acrow Group of Companies to the centre of negotiation with the major sub-contractor on site – Western Downs Contracting.  Through innovative engineering and design utilising both the Supercuplok and modular formwork system in parallel, we were able to present and demonstrate to the customer a  formwork solution that not only fulfilled the needs from a cost perspective, but also a practicality sense in relation to the application. This was most evidently demonstrated by the use of the modular formwoprk system for the trusses in relation to the travelling gantry which were built and assembled on site and then craned into position. Adopting this methodology enabled the structure to be built minimising obstructions at ground level and allowing the lower level works to continue simultaneously.

Jan Pienaar

General Manager QLD , Acrow