ASTANA – Production of unprocessed zinc in Kazakhstan reached 325,500 tonnes in 2016, which is 0.5 percent more than in 2015. Kazakhstan exports almost 90 percent of its produced zinc.
Domestic demand has grown by 38,700 tonnes, almost a third, in the last 11 months. Exports, on the other hand, fell by 3.2 percent to 259,400 tonnes.
The East Kazakhstan region is the leader of zinc production with annual production of 325,400 tonnes. Kazzinc, which is located in Ust-Kamenogorsk in the East Kazakhstan region and KAZ Minerals are major manufacturers in the field. Nova-Zinc, which is a subsidiary of the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant produces another 66 tonnes in the Karaganda region.
Experts at the Kazakhstan Institute of Industry Development predict zinc consumption will be 1.4 times more in 2030 than in 2015. The steel industry, zinc plating, brass and bronze manufacturing will remain the drivers of zinc consumption. Vehicle production growth will create additional demand for zinc to the amount of 2.4 million tonnes per year by 2030 and 3.6 million tonnes by 2050.
The main consumers of Kazakh zinc are China at 33.3 percent of the produced volume, Turkey at30.8 percent of the produced volume and The Netherlands at 15.3 percent of the produced volume. Russia and Ukraine purchase 11.3 percent of zinc produced in Kazakhstan.
Zinc has good cast-ability, room temperature mechanical properties and abrasive and corrosion resistance. It is widely used in the production of different alloys with other metals and has applications in the automobile, construction and shipbuilding industries, light industry, machinery, household electrical appliances and the manufacturing of batteries.