Zinc Usage and Market Information

Zinc and Lead Price Forecasts (April 2013)

The following chart provides a summary of 17 research, investment and bank groups that provides a cross section of views as to metal price expectations for zinc and lead over the period 2014 to 2016. Many of the groups do not provide multi-year forecasts. Selwyn has assumed a base case pricing of  US$1.10/lb for zinc and US$1.20/lb for lead over the period commencing 2014 for its economic evaluation of the restart of ScoZinc mine operations.

Zinc Usage

Zinc is primarily used in galvanizing of steel, brass and diecast alloy parts.

Consumption is primarily linked to construction and transportation sectors. However, zinc is also used for plants and humans.

Usage of Zinc in Plants and Humans

Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient and has particular physiological functions in all living systems, such as the maintenance of structural and functional integrity of biological membranes and facilitation of protein synthesis and gene expression. Among all metals, Zn is needed by the largest number of proteins. Zinc-binding proteins make up nearly 10% of the proteomes in eukaryotic cells, and 36% of the eukaryotic Zn-proteins are involved in gene expression (Andreini et al.,2006, j. proteome Res.5:3173-3178). Tolerance to environmental stress conditions has high requirement for Zn to regulate and maintain the expression of genes needed to protect our cells from the detrimental effects of stress (Cakmak,2000, New Phytol. 146: 185-205).

Zinc Deficiency in Plants-When the plant has an inadequate supply of zinc, the biochemical function become impaired and thus the health and growth of the plants are adversely affected, resulting in lower yields (or even crop failure) and poorer crop quality.  In the case of severe deficiency, visible symbol stress can be noticed such as interveinal chlorosis, bronzing of chlorotic leaves, small and abnormally shaped leaves, stunting and rosetting. Hidden or latent symptoms, such as greatly reduced yields, may remain undetected for many years unless soil or plant diagnostic tests are carried out.
A Study conducted for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showed that zinc deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency, affecting a wide range of soil types in many agricultural areas particularly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East but also in Mexico, the United States and Australia.

Zinc Deficiency in humans-Zinc deficiency in humans is a critical nutritional and health problem in the world.  It affects, on average, one-third of the world’s population, ranging from 4 to 73% in different countries.  The recent analyses made under the Copenhagen Consensus in 2008 identified Zn deficiency, together with vitamin A deficiency, as the top priority global issue, and concluded that elimination of the Zn deficiency problem will result in immediate high impacts and high returns for humanity in the developing world.

It is, therefore, highly important to develop cost-effective and quick solutions to the Zn deficiency problem. Low Zn in plant tissues is a reflection of both genetic-and soil-related factors. A basic knowledge of the dynamics of Zn Soils, understanding of the uptake and transport of Zn in plant systems and characterizing the response of plants to Zn deficiency are essential steps in achieving sustainable solutions to the problem of Zn deficiency in plants and humans.

Recent Reports

Global Industry Analysts Inc.(GIA) announces on April 29, 2011 the release of a comprehensive global report on Zinc-Air Batteries market. “The global market for zinc-air batteries is forecast to reach $400.8 million by the year 2017, driven by mounting demand from largest end-use market of hearing aid devices.”

“Growing incidence of aging population world over, environmental concerns, technological innovations and rise in consumer awareness are some of the main growth drivers catapulting the market towards rapid expansion. In addition, other emerging end-use markets such as defense, automotive and electronics will further provide the necessary traction for future growth and development. Developing economies including Asia-Pacific, aided by rapidly proliferating markets of China and India are slated to take the global zinc-air batteries market to the next level.”( PRWeb – Fri, Apr 29, 2011)

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –Zinc_Air_Batteries_Market_Report

Zinc in Solar Panels

Oxford University researchers may have cracked open a new route to exploiting solar power with the discovery of a low-cost alternative to indium, the scarce – and expensive – rare earth element that has been the key ingredient in photovoltaic panels for half a century.

The zinc-based transparent conductor is less efficient than indium tin oxide (ITO), but has a great advantage in manufacturing. While ITO has to be applied to its substrate material in a vacuum chamber, the Oxford team’s silicon-doped zinc oxide is a liquid that can be sprayed on like paint, making it practical to apply on large and flexible surfaces – potentially including aircraft wings and fuselages.

Professor Peter Edwards, head of inorganic chemistry at Oxford and a fellow of St Catherine’s College, says that while the zinc material is only about two-thirds as conductive as ITO, its optical transparency – one of ITO’s most attractive characteristics – is about the same. As a consequence, he believes zinc could also replace ITO in touch screens and LCD displays.

A conductive material that can be easily applied could well make solar power a practical partial solution to the huge electricity demand aboard modern aircraft. Noting the downside of traditional ITO-based panels, Ferguson says: “You can’t imagine putting a wing inside a vacuum chamber.”

He is enthusiastic about OLED lighting applications, given the zinc material’s comparative ease of processing and potential for use on large, flexible surfaces, as it is much less brittle than ITO.

In addition, Ferguson says, the material provides a transparent shield against radio frequency radiation. Thus it could be used aboard aircraft to protect avionics from stray radiation emitted by mobile telephones and other electronic devices – or to block incoming signals.

For more details visit: ventureprize

International Zinc Association (IZA)

The International Zinc Association (IZA) was founded in 1990 and is a non-profit organization based in Brussels, Belgium. IZA has regional offices in China, Europe, Latin America, North America, Middle East and Southern Africa.

IZA is the only global industry association dedicated exclusively to the interests of zinc and its users. Operating internationally and locally through its regional affiliates, IZA helps sustain the long-term global demand for zinc and its markets by promoting such key end uses as corrosion protection for steel and the essentiality of zinc in human health and crop nutrition.

Selwyn Resources is a member of IZA since June 2011.

For more details about IZA please visit their website at: zinc.org