The World's Biggest Zinc Producers

The world's top ten zinc smelters

According to the International Lead & Zinc Study Group, refined zinc production reached 12.8 million tons (or about 28 million pounds) in 2013.

The ten largest zinc producers accounted for just over 5.8 million tons or 45 percent of the world total.

The ten largest refiners include both companies that mine and refine their own zinc ores, as well as refiners that purchase from independent mines. In many cases, refiners use both their own and sourced zinc ore supplies.

The statistics below are compiled from company annual and operation reports available from producer websites (based on individual corporate fiscal year 2013 production numbers).

Production numbers for each company, indicated as total zinc production, can be found beside the company's name and are indicated in kilotons (1kt).

Note: 1kt equals 1,000 metric tons.

Korea Zinc Group (Korea) - 1100kt


Founded in 1974, Korea Zinc Co. Ltd. is Korea's largest non-ferrous metals company and the world's largest producer of zinc. The company's Onsan smelter refined 550,000 tons of zinc in 2013, or about four percent of global zinc production, making it the largest single smelter in the world. Besides zinc, Korea Zinc is also a major refiner of lead, copper, gold, indium, nickel, bismuth, gallium, and cadmium.

Company website:

Nyrstar (Switzerland) - 1073kt


Producing over 1 million tons of zinc in 2013, Nyrstar accounted for over seven percent of global refined zinc production. The company's largest refineries include the Balen smelter in Belgium, the Budel zinc plant in the Netherlands, and the Hobart smelter in Australia, which all have production capacities in the neighborhood of 280,000 tons.

Company website:

Hindustan Zinc (India) - 764kt


Incorporated in 1966, Hindustan Zinc Limited operates the world's largest zinc mine in Rampura Agucha, Rajasthan. This mine, alone, accounted for 747kt of zinc (over five percent of global production) in 2013. The company's smelters are located in Chanderiya, Debari, and Dariba.

Company Website:

Glencore Xstrata (Switzerland) - 651kt

Formed with the merging of Glencore plc with Xstrata in 2013, Glencore Xstrata (now known as Glecore) is the world's largest miner of zinc ores. In 2013, the company mined 1,221kt of the base metal from its mines in Canada, Kazakhstan, and Germany. The company has a 69 percent stake in Kazzinc, Kazakhstan's largest zinc producer, refined just over 300,000 tons of the metal in 2013.

Company Website:

Votorantim (Brazil) - 577kt


Part of the Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim Group, Votorantim Metais owns and operates the Cajamarquilla Zinc Refinery in Peru, which has a production capacity of over 300,000 tons of zinc per year. The company acquired the American zinc recycler US Zinc in 2007. In 2013, Votorantim Metal produced 577kt of refined zinc.

Company website:

Boliden (Sweden) - 456kt


New Boliden is a Swedish mining company originally founded in 1931 that produces copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver. The company owns and operates the Kokkola zinc smelter in Finland, which accounted for nearly 70 percent of the company's refined output in 2013 and the Odda zinc smelter in Norway.

Company website:

Shaanxi Nonferrous Metals (China) - 404kt


Shaanxi Nonferrous Metals is China's largest zinc refiner. Its core zinc operations are managed by Hanzhong Zinc Industry Co. Ltd., located in Mianxian County, Shaanxi Province, and Shaanxi Zinc Industry Co. The Mianxian mine produced 340kt of zinc in 2013, making it the sixth largest zinc producing mine that year.

Company website:

Teck (Canada) - 293kt

Teck operates two of the five largest zinc mines in the world. The Red Dog mine in Alaska is the world's second largest zinc mine, accounting for 530kt of zinc in 2013, while the Antamina mine in Peru accounted for a further 278kt that year. The company, however, does not refine all the ore and concentrate produced at its mines. The only zinc refining Teck does is at the company's metallurgical facility in Trail, BC.

Company website:

China Minmetals Corp. (China) - 285kt


The state-controlled Chinese metals producer China Minmetals Corp. is involved in the production of virtually every metal, including copper, aluminum, tungsten, tin, antimony, lead, zinc, rare earths, and nickel. In 2013, the company's smelter in Zhuzhou, Hunan Province refined 450kt of zinc, good enough to make it the third largest single smelter that year.

Company website:

Noranda Income Fund (Canada) - 270kt


Noranda Income Fund is an income trust that owns the electrolytic zinc processing plant in Salaberry-de-Valleyfiend, Quebec. Zinc concentrate is supplied by Glencore's Canadian branch under a contract that will last until 2017. Products include 'jumbo zinc' for the steel industry, zinc shot for producing electro-galvanized steel and granulated zinc for use in fertilizers and reagents.

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