June 18, 2020: A huge zinc-lead deposit equivalent to the size of six large lead-zinc mines has been found in China, according to the Chinese government’s news agency, Xinhua, in April.
The deposit, in southwestern China’s Guizhou Province, could be worth more than 70 billion yuan ($9.9 billion), the agency said, referencing the province’s Department of Natural Resources.
“Ninety-two major ore bodies have been delineated with an average lead ore grade of 2.27% and 6.76% for zinc in the Shuitang Township, Hezhang County, equivalent to six large lead-zinc mines due to the thickness of the ore body,” the agency said.
“The reserve of lead and zinc is estimated to reach over 3.27 million tonnes, along with gold, silver, gallium, cadmium, germanium, selenium, sulfur, copper and other important mineral resources.”
Globally, almost 5 million tonnes of lead are mined each year, according to the International Lead Association.
China is already the largest global producer, with 1.4 million tonnes a year, followed by Australia, which produces 641,000 tonnes annually, and the US, which produces 444,000 tonnes, according to the data portal Index Mundi.
Around 85% of all lead produced — both mined or recycled — is used in battery making, according to the ILA. Around 75% of the lead used to make batteries is recycled lead.