Zinc is used for galvanizing steel to prevent it from rusting as well as to make copper based alloys like brass. This special galvanized steel finds end use in outdoor construction and transportation related activities. A further major use is in zinc alloys for die casting parts. Zinc is not a particularly abundant element and makes up only 0.007% of the Earth's crust and is usually found as Zinc Sulfide. Since 1981, Zinc has served as the primary metal in the production of the U.S. Penny, with Copper being applied as a coating to retain the original color and appearance of the coin.
The increased supply of zinc from mine expansions in China, Australia, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, India and Canada has led to a global surplus inventory of about 150,000 tonnes in 2008. The spot price of zinc has decreased by more than 48% within the year. The lower prices have reduced the already narrow margin of some of the more cost ineffective mines around world. Intec, Aim Resources and Hudson Bay Minerals have suspended operations and stopped development works at their mines. Perilya and CBH Resources also have announced to cut down the production by over 20% in their mines. The continuation of the trend would ensure the survival of only the relatively cost effective producers. Taking advantage of it's lower cost of production, HZL has announced plans to increase its production to over 1 million tonnes/annum. This step would increase the market share of HZL in the zinc commodities market. An overview on the recent production cuts is shown in the latest Abare Australian Commodities Review, Page 736.
Some of its Important integrated, miners, and smelters are mentioned below.
|Financial metrics FY2007|
|Name||Revenue in Million $||Net Profit in Million $||Operating Margin|
Although HZL is the second largest integrated zinc producer, it ranks fifth in terms of mining companies and seventh in terms of smelting companies.