Zinc and Lead

Glencore is active in the primary production, marketing, and recycling of zinc and lead.

We extract and process zinc and lead ore in Australia, South America, Kazakhstan, and Canada. We smelt and refine zinc and lead ore in processing plants in Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Kazakhstan. Zinc and lead recycling takes place in Europe and North America.

We have a global marketing reach and sell zinc and lead concentrates and metals as well as valuable by-products such as sulphuric acid.

Zinc and lead in figures - 2022

  • 2.5 mt

    of zinc metal and concentrates sold via the marketing business

  • 918.5 kt

    of zinc produced at our assets

  • 0.7 mt

    of lead metal and concentrates sold via the marketing business

  • 182.7 kt

    of lead produced at our assets

Uses of zinc and lead


A highly versatile metal, zinc can be found in astronomical instruments from the Middle Ages, in space suits and in almost every single household today – in the circuit boards of mobile phones, in ointments, or in cutlery, to name just a few. 

Zinc is mainly used for the coating (= galvanising) of steel and iron to protect them from rust and corrosion. This makes zinc and important material in buildings, vehicles, in household and electrical appliances, but also in the infrastructure required for solar energy generation, as well as offshore wind farms, but also.

Because of their strength and flexibility, zinc alloys are often used to make industrial die castings – such as the ones needed to produce vehicle or machine parts. And since Zinc is also needed to produce brass and bronze, it is often a component of musical instruments, too.  

Zinc oxide is mainly used in the production of rubber. Zinc sulphite, on the other hand, is used in X-ray screens and as a pigment. Other applications of zinc can be found in the pharmaceutical (for medicines) and cosmetics (e.g., creams) industries.


Lead is very versatile and adaptable, and for centuries has been used in many different applications.

Lead is a highly flexible raw material used in various industries such as automotive, electronics and aerospace. A major application for lead is in vehicle batteries – from traditional internal combustion engines to the batteries which support safety mechanisms in electric vehicles.

Lead is also used in storage technologies, for example in data centres and telecommunication systems, as well as in emergency power generators for hospitals and other vital services.  

Lead plays a key role in recycling other metals. Its carrier properties make it an efficient and effective enabler for recycling non-ferrous metals, from gallium used in mobile phones to the platinum in catalytic convertors. Lead itself can also be recycled indefinitely.

Its high density makes lead an ideal shield against radiation used in medical imaging technologies – ensuring that patients and staff are protected when undergoing vital diagnostic tests, including X-rays and CT scans.

Zinc and lead assets

Our combination of mines and smelters means we can produce, process and market zinc and lead across the world.



Kazzinc (69.7%) is a large-scale fully integrated producer of zinc, lead, copper and gold.
View more

McArthur River Mine

is a world-class zinc-lead mine in the Northern Territory.
View more

Mount Isa Mines

Mount Isa Mines, which also includes the George Fisher zinc–lead mine and the nearby Lady Loretta zinc – lead mine in Queensland. It also produces lead/silver bullion refined at Britannia Refined Metals in the UK.
View more

Glencore Port Operations

Our Port Operations business is an export gateway for the mineral resources of north-west Queensland.
View more

See also Glencore in Australia



Nordenham is located in the north of Germany.
View more



Portovesme is a lead and zinc smelting and refining facility, based in Sardinia, that processes a range of primary and secondary materials.
View more

Asturiana de Zinc


Asturiana de Zinc is one of the world’s largest zinc smelters, processing zinc concentrates from our own mines as well as third parties.
View more

Britannia Refined Metals

United Kingdom

Britannia Refined Metals is the largest primary lead producer in Europe, producing primary lead from Mount Isa and third party lead/silver bullion.

Kidd Operations


Kidd Operations is one of the deepest base metal mines in the world.
View more

General Smelting


General Smelting is a manufacturer of lead alloy anodes for electrowinning, chrome plating and pickling processes.
View more



CEZinc is an electrolytic zinc smelter in Quebec.
View more

Visit Glencore in Canada



Volcan (23%) is a leading producer of mined lead, zinc and silver in concentrates.
View more

You may also be interested in

Latest reports and results

Explore the latest reports and results, including financial results, production reports and our annual report.

Global presence


Introducing Mount Isa Mines, Australia

Introducing Mount Isa Mines, Australia
Watch Film

Introducing Mount Isa Mines, Australia


Marketing leads

Inigo Segura (concentrates)
George Tourkolias (metals)

Industrial leads

Suresh Vadnagra