The metals market

Boliden’s main metals are zinc and copper, but lead, gold and silver production and other products are also very important to our profitability. Boliden is a small producer of copper and lead in global terms, but we are among the ten largest producers of zinc with regard both to smelters and to mines. Boliden is also a major producer of all of our metals within Europe.

The global trend for our main metals, zinc and copper, is primarily driven by developments in the automotive and construction industries, with the emphasis on infrastructural projects. Chinese demand for metals has increased substantially in recent years and China is now the biggest and most important market for base metals.

Global demand for zinc, copper and lead in 2010 totalled approximately 11.9, 18.8 and 9.5 million tonnes, respectively. Demand for base metals has grown over the last 10-year period by an average of 3-5 per cent per annum.

Demand for the precious metals, gold and silver, is largely determined by the jewellery industry, but also by demand from the financial sector (as an investment alternative). There is also considerable industrial demand for silver.

Regional breakdown of consumption 2010


Global copper consumption by region


Global zinc consumption by region

Sector-based breakdown of demand 2010


Copper demand by section


Zinc demand by section


Gold demand by section


Silver demand by section


Lead demand by section