Global demand for metals is driven by the population growth and urbanisation that goes hand-in-hand with economic growth and increasing prosperity in the world. Base metals such as copper and zinc have a key role to play in countries that are experiencing rapid increases in social welfare and affluence, in that they are essential to buildings, infrastructure, energy systems, automobiles and railways, computers and mobile phones.
The majority of Boliden's metals are sold to industrial customers in northern Europe. Steelworks, which use zinc to galvanise steel for subsequent use in infrastructure, and the construction and automotive industries, are the main customers for Boliden's zinc.
Manufacturers of wire rod and copper rod, which is used in the construction and automotive industries,make up the majority of Boliden's copper customers, along with manufacturers of electric and electronic components.
Boliden's lead is primarily used by battery manufacturers, while the most important customers for Boliden's gold and silver are the electronics and jewellery industries and the financial sector.