No metal is as boring as zinc, the stuff used to galvanize (rustproof) steel, but don’t say that to Ivan Glasenberg, because zinc has played an important part in helping boost his fortune by $3 billion over the past ten months.
Glencore, the mining company in which Glasenberg has the biggest personal stake, 1.2 billion shares (8.42%), is one of the world’s biggest producers of zinc from mines in Asia, Africa, Australia and Canada. Since hitting the bottom at 66 cents a pound early last year, the price of zinc has rebounded by 75% to $1.16 a pound and got as high as $1.27 a pound just before Christmas.
The price recovery, largely triggered by the closure of old mines and mothballing of unprofitable projects, helped Glencore’s share price rocket up by 300% on the London Stock Exchange from 72 pence (88 cents) at this time last year to recent sales at £2.90 ($3.57).
Stronger-than-expected demand, especially from China, which has encouraged increased use of galvanized steel in a countrywide infrastructure-building program, has magnified the effect of the supply downturn to make zinc one of the mining world’s top performers in 2016.
Zinc is not alone in the resources recovery that has boosted personal fortunes, lifted lossmaking mines back to profit and even improved the trade balance of big resource-exporting countries such as Australia, which has just delivered its first monthly trade surplus in almost three years.
For the rest of this column, click here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2017/01/16/zinc-restored-a-few-of-aussies-richest-in-2016/#37833d694406