What do we know about Zinc?

By Dale Benton
A new lead and zinc mine in China has been discovered in the far-western region of Xinjiang. With almost 19 million tonnes of lead and zinc reserves, t...

A new lead and zinc mine in China has been discovered in the far-western region of Xinjiang.

With almost 19 million tonnes of lead and zinc reserves, the mine in Hotan county becomes the largest lead and zinc mine in the country.

Zinc, has been a mined commodity since as far back as the 18th century.

Here are ten things you need to know about Zinc:

  1. Zinc, was used for making brass and medicinal purposes a good few centuries before it was identified as an element
  2. Pure metallic zinc wasn’t actually discovered until 1746, where it was credited to the hands of Andreas Marggfraf
  3. Zinc is, wait for it, the fourth most widely consumed metal in the world. The other three? Iron, aluminium and copper – but you knew that already
  4. One of the most common uses of zinc in the modern world is to combat rust. Yes, rust. While it may give it an old fashioned look with a bit of character, it is dangerous to steels. Zinc is used in zinc galvanising, what with its anti-corrosive properties and all. The process sees thin layers of zinc added to iron or steel to prevent rusting.
  5. Zinc is used for Zinc alloys. Combined with aluminium and copper, zinc alloys are used widely in the production of many components and die-casting fittings in the automobile manufacturing industry and the mechanical industry. For example, zinc alloy is used as a covering material for roofs
  6. Zinc alloys make up around 20 percent of all zinc applications in the world.
  7. Zinc is also used in batteries, but Alkaline batteries are more commonly used these days
  8. In 2016, the top three zinc producing countries are; China 4.9m MT, Australia 1.58m MT and Peru 1.37m MT
  9. Zinc as a mineral is naturally present in some foods, added to others and can be taken as a dietary supplement. Studies have shown that zinc may have antioxidant defects, is effective against infection and good for tissue repair.
  10. Foods which are a good source of zinc are red meats, poultry, oysters, seafood and whole grains

 

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