​Over half of Glencore's total zinc and lead reserves and resources are located in Australia, which also hosts the world's two largest zinc resource bases at Mount Isa Mines and McArthur River Mine.

Responding to challenging market conditions and low global zinc and lead prices, in 2015 our zinc business announced it would reduce global zinc and lead production by about 500,000 tonnes to preserve the value of our resources.  We believe this decision has helped rebalance the global zinc market and we have a very positive demand outlook.  It is a scarce resource that is used widely in critical applications around the world, such as the galvanisation of steel and metal products.

Fast facts:

  • Largest zinc resource bases in the world
  • Represent more than half of Glencore's total global zinc production and over 60% of lead production
  • Produced 488,400 tonnes of zinc and 185,400 tonnes of lead in concentrates
Mount Isa zinc operationsGeorge Fisher underground mine
Black Star Open Cut Mine*
Zinc-Lead Concentrator
Zinc-Lead Filter Plant
Lead Smelter
Lady Loretta underground mine
Zinc in concentrates
Lead in concentrates
Silver in concentrates
288,200 t
143,300 t
7,332,000 oz
Glencore Port OperationsPort facilities and logistics
(copper and zinc)
Loaded to ship
(Glencore and third party
products, fertiliser)

Berth 8 - 1.4 Mt

Berth 3 - 422,700 t

McArthur River MineOpen cut mine
Zinc-Lead Concentrator
Bing Bong Loading Facility
Zinc in concentrates
Lead in concentrates
Silver in concentrates
200,200 t
42,100 t
1,409,000 oz

 t = tonnes, oz = ounces;

* Our Black Star Open Cut zinc mine reached the end of its scheduled mine life in December 2016.


Our North Queensland zinc operations include an integrated supply chain comprising mining, processing, transport and logistics, and port facilities.

Our Mount Isa Mines zinc operations include the George Fisher underground mine, zinc-lead concentrator, zinc-lead filter plant and lead smelter.

We also own the high-grade Lady Loretta underground mine near Mount Isa, where production has been temporarily suspended.

Our processing stream treats ore from all our regional mines to produce both zinc and lead concentrates, as well as lead bullion. The products are transported by rail to our port operations in Townsville for export.


McArthur River Mine (MRM) is located around 970 kilometres south-east of Darwin and includes an open cut mine and processing stream.

MRM currently produces bulk concentrates, which are transported by road from the mine site to our Bing Bong Loading Facility located 120 kilometres north of MRM on the Gulf of Carpentaria. From there, product is loaded onto a barge and transported to ships at sea.

Our Phase 3 Development project, completed in 2014, provides us with the capacity to increase production to five million tonnes of ore per year.  However, in light of current prices, we have scaled back production to ensure what we produce is aligned with our customers' specific demand.