Frank E. Goodwin
The global zinc industry continues to evolve and faces new demands on many fronts: supply and
demand changes, regulatory challenges and expectations from key stakeholders.
What are the zinc Industry’s responses to these demands? This paper reviews the changes since the
review given at EMC 2015, especially the developments that will have an impact on the Industry in
Supply-demand parameters are continuing to evolve. Supply changes include the depletion of key
zinc resources and the geographical shifts for both mine and refined metal supply. Markets are also
shifting in terms of both geographical and end-uses.
Growth rates in various geographical markets vary; developments in China, India and Mexico will
be given special attention. Threats from competing materials and new zinc products and markets are
being developed that could have a significant impact on zinc demand, especially in the automobile
and concrete construction sectors.
Environmental regulatory and sustainability issues continue to increase globally. Some new regulatory
issues threaten the use of zinc or impact on increasing operational costs for mines and refineries.
Issues include water and sediment regulations, REACH, and International Maritime Organization
concentrate shipping regulations. In sustainability regulatory officials are demanding “resource
efficiency” which requires the industry to have recycling and other programs backed up by critical
scientific data and statistics. New data on zinc’s “circular economy” will be presented. Also, stakeholder
groups are demanding more from all industries including the zinc industry in terms of sustainability
issues i.e., what are the Industry and its participants doing to ensure contributions are
being made back to society.