Base metals, typically copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) are a group of metals of lower value than precious metals such as gold, platinum and palladium. However, these metals are important and are the basic building materials for much of the world around us. Base metals are critical in construction, transport and energy. Refined forms of these metals are commonly traded on world markets in a variety of standard shapes and sizes. As the world's population grows and develops the need for such metals will increase.
In Ireland our focus is Zn-Pb; formerly an internationally renowned major Zn-Pb mining province the country provides a lot opportunity for our "fresh-eyes" approach.
"Zinc is a life saving commodity"
- UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION REPORT, 2012
Zinc is critical to modern life. Its abundance in the earth's crust coupled with its durable, versatile and conductive nature mean that it has a myriad of uses across a number industries. These include the motor industry, construction, electronics, the medical sector, agriculture and renewable energy.
Globally zinc ranks as the 4th-most used metal. Over 60% of zinc use worldwide is in the galvanisation process in the steel industry. The metal is also a key component in the alloy brass.
Data Source: IZA
"Lead is a truly modern metal -supporting the modern world"
-INTERNATIONAL LEAD ASSOCIATION, 2012
Lead is also an integral part of modern life. Its abundance in the earth coupled with its malleability, resistance to corrosion, density and conductivity mean that is has applications across a number of industries. These include the medical sector, construction, nuclear energy, communications and electronics.
Globally lead ranks amongst most-used metals. Approximately 80% of lead use is in the the energy storage industry in lead-batteries. Despite the increasing use of lithium batteries, lead batteries still remain in heavy use in the automotive industry.
Data Source: ILA