About lead and zinc in Australia
Lead is a highly toxic metal found in small amounts in the earth's crust. Lead has a number of commercial applications, including use in batteries, health technology, insulation and cabling, weights and soldering.
Zinc is a metallic chemical element found in the earth's crust. Zinc similarly has a number of commercial applications to lead, including use in galvanising, batteries and as an alloy.
Australia is a dominant player in the international lead and zinc markets and a major player in the global lead and zinc trade.
A number of companies are currently involved in Australia's lead and zinc mine operations including Bass Metals, BHP Billiton, CBH Resources, Independence Group, Minerals and Metals Group, Perilya, Terramin and Xstrata.
Major lead and zinc mines are located in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Tasmania. Australia has a primary lead and zinc smelter at Port Pirie (South Australia), a primary zinc smelter at Risdon (Tasmania) and a primary zinc refinery at Townsville (Queensland).
Australia is a member of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Australia, through the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET), chairs the Statistics and Forecasting Committee. The combined group is based in Lisbon, Portugal.
For more information about lead and zinc, see the Geoscience Australia website.
For more information about minerals in Australia, see Australian mineral commodities.
Information about the ILZSG is available from the department's International Metal Study Groups webpage or the International Lead and Zinc Study Group website.