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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Cammarota, V. Anthony, Jr.; Lucas, John M.
Zinc,   pp. 993-1026 PDF (3.7 MB)

Page 1002

imports of zinc metal from Spain to offset the rebate given to exporters
by the Spanish Government. 
 There were no changes in the basic tariff rates in 1977 for slab zinc at
0.7 cent per 
pound, and zinc dust at 0.3 cent per pound. The duty rate for unwrought alloys
of zinc, which include diecasting alloys, was 19% ad valorem. 
 Preliminary data from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS)2 indicated
that the world consumption of slab zinc decreased 1.5% from that of 1976.
Consumption in centrally planned economy (CPE) countries increased 1%, but
Canadian consumption declined 8%; Australia, 7%; and Japan, 4%; Western Europe
was unchanged. Bureau of Mines data showed world mine production up 5%, and
slab zinc production up 2%, over 1976 levels. In mining, increases were especially
noted in Bolivia, Canada, France, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia,
Ireland, and Southwest Africa. Production in most other countries showed
little change from the previous year. Mine production in the CPE countries
gained 1%. Significant increases in primary smelter production occurred in
Canada, Belgium, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, India, the Republic
of South Africa, Finland, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and
Turkey. Production in the United Kingdom recovered from the strikeaffected
1976 level. Primary zinc metal production in CPE countries decreased less
than 1% from that of 1976; total world production gained 2%. At yearend,
many producers announced cutbacks in an attempt to avoid stock buildup and
keep supply and demand in closer balance. 
 Smelter production of secondary zinc has been separated from primary zinc
production where information is available, and is shown in table 40. Substantial
quantities of secondary slab zinc are produced in France, Japan, the United
States, and the U.S.S.R. 
 Stocks in LME warehouses decreased from 98,299 tons on January 1 to 71,127
tons by yearend. Most of the decrease occurred in the last half of the year,
although by yearend stocks began to increase somewhat. Producer stocks worldwide
increased 21% to about 912,000 tons during the year. European producers held
about 278,000 tons and Japanese producers about 189,000 tons. Consumer stocks
were about 183,000 tons, a decrease of 24%.~ 
 World mine capacity was estimated to be 8.43 million tons of zinc annually.
Major expansions occurred in Ireland and Spain; a number of mines closed
in Canada and the 
United States. 
 World smelter capacity for slab zinc increased slightly to 7.71 million
tons per year. Hindustan Zinc Ltd. expanded its plant in India by 30,000
tons. Asturiana de Zinc S.A. increased capacity at its San Juan de Nieva
plant in Spain by 77,000 tons, and Cia. Mineira de Metais in Brazil by 14,000
tons. All new capacity was electrolytic. U.S. capacity was revised upward
to 699,000 tons. 
 The European Zinc Institute, with headquarters in Paris, was formed during
the year. Its purpose is to provide statistical information on zinc, especially
 Australia.—About one-half of the zinc mined is sold as concentrate
to smelters in Japan and Europe; about two-thirds of the zinc metal produced
is exported, mainly to Southeast Asia, India, New Zealand, and the United
States. Zinc production from the Mount Isa mine in Queensland, operated by
Mount Isa Mines Ltd., was 111,900 tons, down from 123,800 tons in 1976. ASARCO
will have 27,000 tons of concentrate from Mount Isa toll refined each year
for the next 3 years at two Japanese smelters. The zinc content of the ore
dropped from 6.7% in 1976 to 6.0% in 1977. Reserves at the mine increased
to 63 million tons of ore assaying 6.5% zinc. At the Hilton lead-zincsilver
mine, underground diamond drilling continued in order to confirm ore reserves.
The company began operating a 55-ton-perday pilot plant at the McArthur River
leadzinc-silver deposit in the Northern Territory as part of the feasibility
 At the West Coast mines in Tasmania, EZ Industries Ltd. produced 73,047
tons of zinc from ore grading 12.5% zinc. The company also treated zinc-rich
tailings at the site. Reserves were given as 8.3 million tons of ore. An
exploratory shaft was sunk at the Elura prospect near Cobar, New South Wales.
Australian Mining & Smelting Ltd., through The Zinc Corp., Ltd.,
New Broken Hill Consolidated Ltd., milled 2.3 million tons of ore grading
10.9% zinc and 8.2% lead. In addition, some mine tailings were treated. 
 EZ Industries produced 187,283 tons of 

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