Overview of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group

I. Presentation

The International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) is one of the oldest nonferrous metal Government organisations created by the United Nations in 1959. Copper and Nickel Study Groups were founded around thirty years later and follow the same pattern.

According to its terms of reference, the Group has to provide opportunities for regular inter-governmental consultations on international trade of lead and zinc, to make such special studies of the world situation of lead and zinc as may be appropriate and to consider possible solutions to any special problems or difficulties which are unlikely to be resolved in the ordinary development of world trade.

Particular attention is given to providing continuous information on the supply and demand position and its probable development.

1.So, ILZSG is worldwide and an intergovernmental organisation which, at the moment, has 28 member countries.

2.Its main responsibility is to maintain transparency of foreign trade for concentrates and refined metals through statistics, studies and useful contacts.

3.Statistics: With 41 years of experience and the collapse of many other organisations, ILZSG is the worldwide statistically recognised organisation for lead and zinc. Every month the Red Bulletin is read by the industry's professionals.

4.Implementation of economic studies, regarding markets, directories, recycling and also, increasingly, environmental issues.

5.The annual Spring Meetings and October Session are good opportunities for useful contacts between producers and consumers, Government and industry. Even though membership contributions are normally funded by Government, ILZSG works for a large part of industry and does its best to meet its requirements. Industry helps Government by providing advisers on technical and economic matters, by offering experts in ILZSG’s different Committees and through an Industry Advisory Panel, which includes representatives from 10 - 12 of the world's major lead/zinc companies.

6.The cost of contributions is low because the budget of this small worldwide organisation is very moderate. The budget is voted at the October Annual Session for the following year. Each member is committed to the payment of its contributions by the 1st January of the following year.

7.Also the Secretariat tries to involve countries, organisations and industry for different tasks, for example, forecasts, or specific studies.

II. Main Advantages of Study Group Membership

With regard to Study Group membership, there are many advantages to be gained by both lead and/or zinc producing and consuming countries. These include:

8.The fact that the Study Group is a unique organisation. Nearly all the main mining and metal producers (and consumers) are represented (membership accounts for about 90% of total worldwide tonnage) by both governments and industry. The Group therefore offers exceptional possibilities for a regular exchange of views between politicians and industrialists.

9.The opportunity to take part in Study Group bi-annual meetings. These meetings are organised principally to encourage an open dialogue, to formulate future Study Group policy and to prepare and publish the market forecasts. They also provide an ideal arena in which to develop contacts. The April meetings usually have an attendance of 50-100 persons and the October Session of 250-350.

10. The chance to participate in all or any of the three main Committees run by the Study Group.

i) The Statistical and Forecasting Committee - oversees all of the Study Groups statistical work including the provision of market forecasts (quantities but not prices).

ii) The Mine and Smelter Projects Committee - undertakes a detailed annual study of all the lead and zinc mine and smelter closures and openings including work on ore reserves and grades and investment costs.

iii) The Economic and Environment ommittee - monitors developments affecting the secondary lead and zinc industries. It also organises a Recycling Conference every 2-3 years.

The Committee also monitors and reports on major international economic events which could have an impact on the lead and zinc industries, trends in the main end use sectors (eg: batteries, galvanising, diecasting etc.) and the industries in which these products are used (eg, automobile, building, chemical etc)

The Committee is also responsible for reporting on all environmental issues and events effecting the lead and zinc industries, such as Sustainable Development.

11. Member Countries may request that work be undertaken on special issues or projects if it is of general interest. Recently, at the behest of Member Governments the Study Group completed a detailed study on the impact the Basel Convention will have on the lead and zinc industries.

12. Member countries and their industries can use the Study Group to put forward their views to external bodies such as the OECD, Basel Secretariat, World Health Organisation, the London Metal Exchange, European Union because the Study Group is an official Observer.

13. Access to all Study Group data. This includes the provision of some free copies of the publications that are put on open sale and also the confidential reports that are only circulated within the Group.

At present the Study Group has a total of 28 Member Countries encompassing nearly all of the major lead and zinc producers and consumers. Application for membership is very simple. Rule 1 of our Rules of Procedure states: ‘Any Government....which desires to become a member of the Study Group shall notify the Secretary General in writing accordingly. The notification shall include a declaration by the Government concerned that it considers itself substantially interested in the production or consumption of or trade in lead and/or zinc and that it accepts the Terms of Reference and the Rules of Procedure’.

Cost of membership is split into two parts. The first part is a fixed amount paid by all members. The second part is dependent on the country’s volume of trade in lead and zinc.

MEMBER COUNTRIES in January 2001


Korea, Republic of












Russian Federation


South Africa, Republic of








United Kingdom


United States of America


Yugoslavia, Republic of

Contact Details


2 King Street




Tel: +44 20 7484 3300

Fax:+44 20 7930 4635

Email: root@ilzsg.org

Website: www.ilzsg.org

Secretary-General: Don Smale