We are one of the largest primary lead smelting and refining companies in the world.
We produce lead concentrate and refined market lead 99.9%. Over half the lead we produce comes from secondary or other sources of scrap lead, including some from our own zinc plants. Lead is found in ore bodies in association with other metals, mainly zinc, silver and copper.
Lead’s primary usage is for the production of batteries. In fact over 80 % of world production goes into the lead-acid battery, which still plays an important part in the starter mechanism for automobiles. The remaining 20 % goes towards such end-uses as underwater cable sheathing, ammunition, glassware, solder and roof sheeting.
Over recent years the demand for lead has increased. This is mainly as a result of an increase in Asia’s automobile population and the growing popularity of the e-bike, particularly in China. In fact, the e-bike now consumes over 8 % of world lead production. With the industrial growth of other Asian countries, we expect that the battery has a continuing, as well as expanding role to play.