Canadian Akie District Able to Reduce Upcoming Zinc Shortage
GUEST COMMENTARY–Rockstone Research Ltd.–After aluminum and copper, zinc is the mostly used nonferrous metal in the world thanks to its capacity to protect ferrous metals against corrosion/rusting. Hence, the “infrastructure metal” zinc is mainly used galvanizing/coating iron and steel products, such as vehicles, buildings, bridges, railways and other structures.
“Although many elements can be used as a substitute for zinc in chemical, electronic, and pigment applications, the demand for zinc galvanized products remains strong, especially in regions where significant infrastructure projects are being developed. The dramatic increase in the world’s production (supply) and consumption (demand) of zinc in the past 35 years reflects demand in the transportation and communications sectors for such things as automobile bodies, highway barriers, and galvanized iron structures.” (1)
If the global economic recovery progresses in the next years, demand for zinc will increase accordingly. However, even if global economics will worsen in the future, demand for zinc is set to be strong due to massive infrastructure projects in industrialized and emerging countries being executed no matter what. Additionally, natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis require reconstruction activities that can have the magnitude of changing demand significantly.
The OECD estimates a yearly investment requirement for worldwide infrastructure projects in the area of 600 billion dollar for the next 20 years – only to guarantee the provision of water. Additionally, the OECD expects China to spend some 2,000 billion dollar until 2030 for infrastructure only to produce and distribute energy. And such cost-intensive infrastructure developments are not only limited to undeveloped countries. As per the OECD, the USA and Canada must invest around 1,800 billion dollar in its electricity facilities, which is almost as much as China. “The Government of India plans to invest over 1 trillion dollar over the next 5 years to meet the country’s huge infrastructure demands. Over 50% of these funds will come from the private sector.” Any development of infrastructure is highly zinc intensive.
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