About Us

SJ Cheesman was established in 1908 as a Blacksmith Shop servicing the busy port of Pirie. The company is now a heavy plate fabricator to the mining, smelting and general process industries in Australia.

SJ Cheesman is located in the city of Port Pirie, adjacent to the Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter.

Port Pirie is located on the eastern coast of the Spencer Gulf, one of the major seaports of South Australia. Port Pirie’s location gives SJ Cheesman easy access to transport fabrications to the east, west and the northern coasts of Australia

The heavy process industries in the Upper Spencer Gulf cities of Port Pirie and Whyalla, the mining sector of Roxby Downs, Broken Hill and Leigh Creek, the power generation at Port Augusta and the rolling stock demands of EDI and Pacific National have all benefited from SJ Cheesman’s easy access to transport.

SJ Cheesman has developed along side of the Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter; the largest lead smelter in the southern hemisphere.

As a company we are committed to providing metal trade services to a wide range of industries including the various demands of the large mining and the processing industries of Australia.

To achieve this SJ Cheesman has a skilled labour force of 40 people with the ability to complete large construction projects but still manufacture precision components.​


Water Jackets

​SJ Cheesman manufactures water jackets of myriad designs for furnace application. These are made to the highest quality and built to withstand aggressive application of heat and abrasion. Built as pressure vessels, these are constructed and tested to meet AS3920.

Pipe Spools

SJ Cheesman can manufacture pipe spools to shop drawings in a range of materials including mild steel : 316SS, SAF 2205, 253MA or HDPE.

Lead Pipes

SJ Cheesman manufactures continuous length heavy wall pipe spools for the transport of molten lead.

On Site Pipe Runs

SJ Cheesman can site measure, design, fabricate and install on-site in a range of materials. We can work on new or existing plants and work in to meet plant operational, safety and timeline constraints.

Manufactured Spares

We can fabricate a variety of bespoke manufactured spares in individual and mass quantities

Heat Exchanger (Recuperator) Fins

SJ Cheesman manufactures fins for air blast counter flow heat exchangers (recuperators). These cool fume-laden air while pre-heating furnace in feed air.

To withstand the extreme operating temperatures, 253MA stainless steel is used. This material poses some unique challenges in fabrication, with regard to cutting, pressing and welding.

SJ Cheesman has developed an extensive library of know-how in working with this material.

The longitudinal welds are done robotically, as the energy required to achieve the penetration in a single pass is too great to do this by hand.


Steel Fabrication

  • Band saw cutting up to 400mm sections to any angle ​
  • Profile cutting of carbon steel
  • Guillotining of up to 3m
  • Pressing to 300T
  • CNC Brake Pressing of plate up to 80mm
  • Rolling completely to 360 degrees of up to 25mm plate
  • Assembly


SJ Cheesman employs a full range of qualified welders and welding procedures including:

  • MMAW/SMAW/Arc Welding
  • GMAW/MIG Welding including Flux Core and Bare Wire
  • GTAW/TIG Welding

We can perform these processes to either one of our pre-qualified welding procedures, a client provided weld procedure, or develop a qualified procedure for a particular application. Working alongside our NATA approved partners, we can develop procedures and subsequently qualify our welders to their required Australian, ASME, or international standard required.

While we specalise in heavy plate, we regularly work in the following materials

  • Mild Steel
  • Boilerplate
  • Stainless Steels (authentic, ferritic and duplex)
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Bisalloy
  • Copper


We operate a fully-equipped machine shop.

We focus on providing customer care through fast turnaround time and exceeding customer requirements

    • ​​​​Turning – we operate a number of manual and automatic lathes and can machine up to a length of 6m and diameter of up to 600mm
    • Milling – perform milling operations on a number of machines up to 2000mm x 1000mm. These include surfacing, beveling, boreing, drilling, chamfering and grooving.
    • CNC – our CNC equipped machines allow us to manufacture to a variety of complex shapes, and reproduce exactly production runs.

As we as these, we can perform a variety of​ standard and custom machining operations including drilling, grinding, threading, broaching, grooving and polishing.


In our fully equipped fitting shop we can disassemble, overhaul and reassemble a variety of mechanical components. Some of these include: gearboxes, shaker units, bogies, cylinders, locomotive components, and motors.

We stock common bearings and seals for fast turnaround of components.

Our in-house machine shop ensures that we can manufacture new pins, shafts, clevis’, keeper plates, etc. for custom, or fast-turnaround jobs.

We can work to precision tolerances to meet mechanical fits and clearances.

Blast and Paint

Grit blasting is available to class 2.5, our booth can accommodate items up to 4m x 4m x 8m, and larger items can be blasted by arrangement.

Painting is available to any customer specifications, such as Nyrstar or BHP’s painting specifications.​

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