Lead

Facts

Symbol: Pb

Appearance: Bluish white

Melting point: 327.46C

Boiling point: 1749C

Lead

Did you know...

Lead is one of the oldest known metals and have been produced metallurgic since the early Bronze Age, in Egypt.

Boliden Lead

Boliden produces lead in the form of both primary lead from mines and secondary lead from recycled batteries. Our lead production totals around 70,000 tonnes annually.

Primary lead

At the Rönnskär smelter in Skelleftea, pure lead is extracted from lead concentrates from Boliden's own mines, as well as from external suppliers. The pure lead is cast into ingots weighing 42.5 kg each. Boliden's lead refinery maintains a high and steady quality with a level of 99.97 per cent lead and is its brand "BOLIDEN 9997" is registered on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

The ingots are transported by ship or train to customers in Europe.

Secondary lead

At Boliden Bergsöe in Landskrona, lead is extracted and refined from scrapped batteries and other lead-containing recyclables. Bergsöe's BERA lead is registered on the LME and contains minimum 99.97 per cent lead. In addition, Bergsöe produces lead alloys with antimony, copper, calcium, tin or silver. Lead alloys tailored to specific customers' requirements and wishes are produced in close collaboration with our customers and the process is subject to extensive analyses. The top-selling products are alloys of lead with antimony and calcium.

Uses of Lead

Most of the lead produced from ore (primary) and through recycling (secondary) is used to produce lead batteries. Lead batteries are used in motor vehicles. This type of battery was invented in 1859 and is the oldest form of rechargeable battery.

The reason why it is so widely used in the automotive and industrial vehicle industry is that it is able to deliver large amounts of current for a short period of time, which is what is needed to power a vehicle's starter engine.

The batteries are also used to provide current when operating heavier vehicles, such as diesel and electric locomotives and submarines, and as a source of reserve power in installations with critical functions, such as hospitals and telecommunications facilities.

Lead - general

Lead is a soft, malleable, ductile, bluish-white, dense metallic element, extracted chiefly from galena and found in ore with zinc, silver and copper. It is the softest of the most common base metals, has a shiny surface and is air and acid resistant. One of the major advantages of lead is the ease with which it can be recycled. Batteries account for the majority of the world's lead consumption and over 75 per cent of our lead production comes from recycled batteries.