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Zinc is a metal widely used for galvanising iron and steel to protect against corrosion, as well as a wide range of other applications.

South32 produces Zinc at our Cannington operation in Australia. The process for extracting zinc from the ore involves grinding, flotation and leaching techniques that produces high-grade, marketable zinc.

Key stats

59.2 KT

FY23 Zinc production at Cannington

Key uses of Zinc

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Galvanising iron and steel

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Solar panels

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Because of its special properties zinc has long been used in construction, particularly to galvanize other metals. For example, steel street light poles coated in zinc to protect against corrosion.

Zinc compounds are also used in a wide range of other applications. For example, zinc oxide coatings help solar panels achieve higher energy conversion. Zinc oxide is also used in paints and inks, cosmetics, plastics, pharmaceuticals and as a semiconductor.

Zinc is also used as an alloy with copper to create brass.

Producing zinc

South32 produces zinc at our Cannington mine in North West Queensland, Australia. The mine also produces silver and lead.