Zinc Mining Market in Asia-Pacific to 2020

Asia-Pacific is the largest zinc producing region in the world, and upcoming zinc mining projects in Australia, China and India are set to push production even higher, states a new report by mining experts GBI Research.

Online PR News – 30-August-2012 – London – The new report* states that demand from galvanized steel makers is rising within the region, as populations expand and housing projects are announced, keeping investor interest alive and the zinc mining industry buoyant.

Substantial zinc reserves in China, Australia and Kazakhstan support Asia’s zinc mining industry. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Asia-Pacific had the largest zinc reserves in the world at the end of 2010 with 122 million metric tons (MMt), with Australia and China accounting for around 78% of these reserves. Most of the zinc reserves in Australia are located in the provinces of Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria, while the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong Sheng accounted for the majority of zinc reserves in China.

Planned and upcoming zinc projects in Australia, China and India will increase the region’s production levels during the next few years. This anticipated boost in activity is driven by a surging demand for galvanized steel, which is used in construction. China’s domestic zinc consumption is expected to increase from an estimated 5,229.4 thousand metric tons (Mt) in 2010 to roughly 6,506.2 Mt by 2020, due to China’s plan to build 36 million units of affordable housing by 2015. National plans such as this, aimed to support population growth in emerging economies, also work to bolster industrial sectors by raising demand for raw materials.

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Overall zinc metal consumption in the Asia-Pacific region stood at an estimated 6.4 MMt in 2011, with China accounting for almost 90% of this. Regional consumption during this decade is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 1.6% to reach approximately 7.8 million metric tons by 2020, due to demand for galvanized steel.

However, the skilled labor shortage in Australia could pose a major threat to the Asia-Pacific zinc mining industry, as the second largest zinc mine company in the region has been experiencing a skilled labor shortage for a number of years. Beginning in 2004, the situation worsened as the global financial crisis forced the resources sector to lay off around 28,300 personnel during 2008–2009. Since then, as the industry has gradually recovered, the shortage issue has become more apparent and is soon expected to become a major concern. With many remote mines located in Western Australia and Queensland and several mining projects under development, the skilled workforce shortage is likely to adversely affect the mineral resource sector.

Asia-Pacific zinc ore production stood at an estimated 6.6 MMt in 2011, and during the forecast period 2012-2020, zinc ore production in Asia-Pacific is estimated to increase at a CAGR of around 4% to approximately 9.6 MMt in 2020. China was the major contributor to regional production in 2011, accounting for a 58.3% share, and the country is expected to remain the leading source of zinc in the future.

This report provides key information and analysis of the Asia-Pacific zinc mining industry, comprising China, Australia, India and Kazakhstan. The report covers the industry’s drivers and restraints, production, reserves, consumption and details of the country’s trade (imports and exports).

This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.

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