Our products in use

We responsibly source the commodities that advance everyday life. The minerals and metals we mine at our Australian operations are found in a vast number of everyday products, such as smartphones, white goods, and wind and solar power generation.

Everywhere we look

Our products can be found in:

  • commercial and public buildings
  • cars and buses
  • planes and trains
  • smartphones and laptop computers
  • medications and cosmetics
  • hospitals, homes and offices
  • electricity generation and steel making.

Other everyday applications

Our products are also used in the following everyday applications:

Copper Used for electrical wiring, piping, and in batteries, solar and wind power, electronics, electric grid and electric cars.
Zinc Used as an anti-rust agent in galvanised steel or iron used for buildings, cars and electronics.
Lead Essential for car batteries, weights, solder and radiation protection.
Nickel Mainly used to make stainless steel, adding strength and corrosion resistance to steel—also used in electric vehicle batteries.
Cobalt Utilised in electronics, electric car batteries, a super alloy in aircraft engines, in cemented carbides, and as a hard cutting surface or on drill bits
Coal Used to generate energy or heat—it is key to providing low-cost baseload power, and making steel and cement.

Our products in modern life - fast facts


Coal is important for electricity generation, steel production and cement manufacturing.

Thermal coal generates about 38% of the world’s electricity, and improvements in high-efficiency, low-emission power stations can significantly reduce emissions.  Coking coal is primarily used to make steel.

In 2019 we managed the production of nearly 119 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal from our New South Wales and Queensland coal operations, with the majority exported to countries across Asia.


Copper is most widely used in electricity generation and distribution, building products and electronic equipment.

An excellent electrical conductor, it features in electrical wiring and motors. Slow to corrode, copper is used in roofing, guttering, rainspouts, plumbing, cookware and cooking utensils.

It is recyclable and has a growing use in renewable technologies and anti-microbial applications.

Our operations at Mount Isa Mines and Ernest Henry Mining in Queensland, and CSA Mine in Cobar, New South Wales, produce some of the world’s highest grade copper.

Zinc and lead

Around half of the world’s zinc is used to galvanise steel, an environmentally friendly way to prevent corrosion, for example, in cars and buildings. In Australia today, two-thirds of zinc produced is used to protect steel from rusting.

A versatile material that can be recycled infinitely, zinc is also an essential dietary mineral and is used in food supplements.

Zinc readily combines with other metals forming alloys:

  • brass (copper and zinc)
  • bronze (copper, tin and zinc)
  • nickel silver (copper, nickel and zinc).

More than 60% of all lead produced is used in lead–acid batteries to store energy.

Our Mount Isa and Lady Loretta mines in North Queensland, and our McArthur River Mine in the Northern Territory represent about half of Glencore’s global zinc and lead production.

Nickel and cobalt

We are one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and cobalt.

The nickel we extract from our Murrin Murrin Mine in Western Australia is used to produce everyday items like cutlery, and precision metals in mobile phones, cars, jet engines, wind turbines, surgical equipment and hybrid cars.

Cobalt is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries and is also used in alloys for aircraft engine parts, electroplating and corrosion/wear resistant applications. Cobalt salts impart blue and green colours in glass and ceramics.


Australia has the world’s second largest bauxite reserves, including western Cape York in North Queensland.

Bauxite is the primary ore from which aluminium metal is extracted. Aluminium is a widely used metal in industries, including transport, construction and packaging. It can be recycled endlessly with two thirds of all aluminium produced still in use today.

We are currently assessing the feasibility of developing a bauxite mine in Aurukun, Cape York.