Low temperatures and frequent soil freeze–thaw in polar environments present challenges for the immobilisation of metals. To address these challenges we investigated the chemical forms of Pb, Zn and Cu in an Antarctic landfill, examined in vitro reaction kinetics of these metals and orthophosphate at 2 and 22 °C for up to 185 days, and subjected the products to freeze–thaw. Reaction products at both temperatures were similar, but the rate of production varied, with Cu-PO₄ phases forming faster, and the Zn- and Pb-PO₄ phases slower at 2 °C. All metal-orthophosphate phases produced were stable during a 2.5 h freeze–thaw cycle to −30 °C. Metal immobilisation using orthophosphate can be successful in polar regions, but treatments will need to consider differing mineral stabilities and reaction rates at low temperatures.