Glencore Nordenham in figures


  • over


    tons of zinc and zinc alloys

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    tons of lead

  • over


    tons of sulphuric acid

  • over



We are Glencore Nordenham

Glencore is one of the world's leading raw materials companies and a shareholder in Nordenham Metall GmbH and Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH. Glencore has developed a concept for the site that involves the extensive integration of the two companies to create a high-performance production site for zinc and lead. Together, we are more flexible and innovative. 

People are at the centre of everything we do. That's why safety and sustainability are top priorities for us: we work continuously to minimise potential adverse effects on society and the environment, and we are committed to attracting the best employees and inspiring them to join our company. 

Familiar, social and safe
We are currently in a phase of change: from a traditional company to a modern non-ferrous metal producer in Europe. This does not change our core values: We are an inclusive and social company. We support our employees and help them with their problems. We are involved in society in many ways and work actively to reduce our impact on the environment. 
We want to offer our employees a safe workplace and a good livelihood. That's why we attach great importance to occupational safety: our employees should come to work healthy and go home healthy again. We pay according to the collective agreement of the metal and electrical industry and offer numerous benefits above the collective agreement. 
We are Glencore Nordenham!

Part of the Glencore Group
Nordenham Metall GmbH has been part of the Glencore Group since 2021, and the zinc smelter since 2013. Founded in 1974 as a trading company in the canton of Zug in Switzerland, Glencore is now one of the world's largest diversified commodities companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 responsibly sourced raw materials that advance everyday life. Glencore Group operations include more than 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production facilities.
Glencore has a presence in over 35 countries - in both established and resource-rich growth regions. The company's industrial activities are supported by a global network of more than 30 marketing offices.

The companies

About Nordenham Metall

Lead has been produced at our Nordenham site since 1912. This makes us not only a traditional lead smelter but also one of the oldest active lead smelters in Europe to this day and thus one of the most important lead recyclers. More than 100,000 tons of primary and secondary lead are produced on average at Nordenham Metall every year. But our future does not lie in lead alone.
In the coming years, Nordenham Metall GmbH will complete its transformation into a modern polymetallic smelter. In addition to the recycling of lead battery reprocessing products, processing will also extend to lower-lead zinc production residues and more complex composite materials. The goal is to recover not only the base metal, but also associated metals such as copper, silver, gold, antimony, bismuth, and so on. Many input materials and products will successively expand the portfolio of our company. The aim is for Nordenham Metall to become the most modern non-ferrous metal producer in Europe with flexible, environmentally compatible and sustainable processes.

Recycling process
With our new reduction furnace, which went into operation in 2018, our lead smelter can increase its use of secondary materials to up to 80%. This holistic approach results in a lower environmental footprint by reducing the required energy consumption.
This furnace makes us one of the most modern recycling companies in the lead industry.

About Nordenhamer Zinkhütte

The Nordenham Zinc Smelter plant was completed in 1908, the same year that the town of Nordenham was founded. The zinc smelter still has ties with the town today.

At that time many new jobs were created and from 80 people in the year of foundation the workforce grew to 750 employees in 1914. The production volume was about 4,000 tons of zinc. The thermal process with horizontal muffles was used for zinc production and was the industrial standard until well into the 1960s. 

Despite world wars, economic crises, strikes and natural disasters, the zinc smelter managed to survive. The number of employees, which had decreased during the crises, increased and in 1956 there were again 850 employees working at the plant. The zinc smelter was the largest employer in Nordenham. The number of muffles was increased and 25,000 tons of zinc were produced. In addition, workers from southern Europe were actively recruited in the following years.

In 1972, the zinc smelter was able to take off with a new modern plant. Working conditions improved continuously and environmental protection began to play a more important role. Zinc production was quadrupled by switching to zinc electrolysis. Certain equipment, such as the fluidized bed furnace, was developed specifically for the zinc smelter.

In 2013, Nordenham Zinc Smelter became part of the Glencore Group. With the strength of an international company, we still have deep regional roots today. Around 165,000 tons of zinc are now produced per year. Occupational safety has become a core corporate objective. Great improvements have been made, bringing us closer to our goal of having zero work-related injuries. We want to make our production as sustainable as possible. Here we can also look back on great successes, for example in reducing emissions. Our vision is to produce green zinc for our customers in the future.

We now have around 400 employees, some of whom are the third generation to work for us.

Our history

The history of our site goes back to 1906, when investors founded Metallwerke Unterweser AG in the Friedrich-August-Hütte district. Ores from other European countries as well as from overseas were to be smelted there.
More about our history

Our corporate culture

Our values are the foundation of our sustainability management, our Code of Conduct and our corporate policies.