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Global zinc and lead mine cost summary

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Report summary

The global average C1 composite cost for zinc mines is forecast at 58.4c/lb Zn in 2018, compared with 55.5c/lb in 2017. Lower TC's expected in 2018 as well as forecast higher by-product credits is expected to offset an increase in cost to concentrate costs.The rise in the zinc price to its highest level for a decade has resulted in healthy profit margins for zinc miners with the breakeven for the 2018 C1 cost curve at 100th percentile at the current forecast zinc price.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Global zinc and lead mine cost summary

    PDF 2.08 MB

Table of contents

    • Cost Dollars
      • Variance analysis of zinc mine C1 cost components, 2017 versus 2018
      • Zinc mine composite C1 cost trends
      • Lead mine composite C1 cost trends
      • Realisation costs
      • By-product credits
      • Regional minesite costs by process
      • Minesite costs by element
    • Margins and revenues expected to rise at high forecast zinc prices
    • Zinc mine breakeven percentiles and cost price relationship
    • Cash flow for zinc producing mines
    • LME zinc price and expansion capital investment
    • Required new mine capability
    • 2023 C1 cash cost curve – highlighting base case and probable projects (largest 15 by paid zinc production are labelled)
    • Zinc and lead mine production by country
      • Zinc mine production
      • Lead mine production
      • Production trends
      • Ore milled
      • Concentrate grades
      • Recovery to zinc and lead concentrate
    • Reserves at operating zinc and lead mines
    • Reserves at Chinese operations
      • Zinc reserves: Top ten
      • companies by contained zinc in reserve, 2016
    • Global lead reserves and resources distribution
    • Reserve and resource definition

Tables and charts

This report includes 41 images and tables including:


  • Margins: Image 1
  • Margins: Image 2
  • Margins: Image 3
  • Margins: Image 4
  • Projects: Image 1
  • Projects: Image 2
  • Global zinc mine production 2018 forecast (kt)
  • Global lead mine production 2018 forecast (kt)
  • Zinc and lead industry contained metal and reserve grade 1986 – 2016
  • Chinese reserves operating mines (costed mines only) 2003 – 2016
  • Average reserve mine life – operating mines (World excluding China)
  • Contained zinc in reserves by deposit type, 2016
  • Contained lead in reserves by deposit type, 2016
  • Executive summary: Image 1
  • Global zinc C1 cash cost curve 2018 and variance analysis of C1 cost components
  • Executive summary: Image 3
  • Top ten zinc mines in 2018 and position on the cost curve
  • Top ten zinc mine producers in 2018 and position on the company cost curve
  • Costs: Image 1
  • Costs: Image 2
  • Costs: Image 3
  • Costs: Image 4
  • Costs: Image 5
  • Top ten zinc producing mines 2014 - 2019
  • Top ten lead producing mines 2014 - 2019
  • Ore milled and zinc head grade by mining method
  • Zinc head grades 2000-2025 Lead head grades 2000-2025
  • Ore milled and zinc head grade by country
  • Geology Type
  • Paid zinc by geology type
  • Paid lead by geology type
  • Zinc concentrate grades 2000-2025 Lead concentrate grades 2000-2025
  • Zinc recovery by mine type Lead recovery by mine type
  • Zinc recovery to zinc concentrate Lead recovery to lead concentrate


  • Global Zinc and Lead Mine Production (Mt Zn and Pb in Concentrate)
  • Zinc and Lead Mine Production in the Cost Service (Mt Zn and Pb in Concentrate)
  • Zinc mines: average profit margins
  • Top fifteen zinc mines by contained reserve, 2016
  • Top fifteen lead mines by reserve, 2016
  • Lead reserves: Top ten companies by contained lead in reserve, 2016
  • Geology: Table 2

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