About 12 million tons of zinc are produced annually worldwide. More than half of this amount is used for galvanizing to protect steel from corrosion. Approximately 14% goes into the production of zinc base alloys, mainly to supply the die casting industry and 10% to produce brass and bronze. Significant amounts are also utilized in rolled zinc applications including roofing, gutters and down-pipes. The remainder is consumed in compounds such as zinc oxide and zinc sulfate.
These first-use suppliers then convert zinc into in a broad range of products. Main application areas include: construction, transport, consumer goods and electrical appliances and general engineering.