Analysis of Canada's lead and zinc industries

Canada is the world’s largest producer of zinc and the third-largest producer of lead from mined ores. For the strategic planning sector of a cabinet-level agency charged with developing national metals and minerals policy for the Canadian government, CRA analyzed the competitive position of Canada’s lead and zinc industries. To accomplish our objective, we undertook the following tasks. Develop costs for major Canadian lead and zinc mining operations, lead smelters and refineries, and zinc processing plants and refineries. Determine the position of Canada’s major mining operations with respect to metal production capacity and cost on a comparative basis with all metal capacity in the noncommunist world. Assess the major factors that determine the cost-competitive nature of Canada’s lead and zinc industries. These factors are: 1) labor costs; 2) energy costs; 3) deposit quality; 4) byproduct and coproduct credits; and 5) transportation of concentrates to processing plants and of refined metal to market.