Smelter chief Dale Webb has thanked Port Pirie residents for their "wonderful support both personally and professionally".
He was speaking at the Business Port Pirie yearly dinner at the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club last week.
The Nyrstar smelter manager said "we understand the concerns and immense pressure and understanding" of the lead-in-air issue in the city.
"We are committed to meeting the expectations for ourselves and the community," he told the audience of 80 guests. "We will be successful ... but how we will be successful is more important,"
He said more than $25 million would be spent improving the plant by the end of the year and $31 million had been invested in the past four months.
"We are recruiting and investing in our people. We have 18 new apprentices. We have 42 positions open for recruiting," he said.
Mr Webb said the plant was "evolving ... ultimately meeting the expectations of our stakeholders and everyone in this room". Amid what he said was excitement for the future, "we are looking at refurbishing some equipment, reducing environmental risk and providing job opportunities".
Re-elected traders' president Mark Hanlon said he looked forward to 2021 being "our greatest year". New members elected to the group executive were builder Clayton Ramsay and bank officer Amy Hagger. They are an example of the younger members sought by the group.