ILZSG Checking China’s Lead Production Figures After Large Gains

The International Lead & Zinc Study Group is working with Chinese authorities to check data on lead mine production to make sure it wasn’t overstated.

The Lisbon-based study group, which tracks global production of lead and zinc, is cooperating with the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, which provided the data, said Paul White, head of analysis at the ILZSG. China’s lead output from mines expanded 26 percent to almost 2.7 million metric tons in January 2012 through November, while global output climbed 15 percent, according to ILZSG data.

“The extent of the increases this time has been a little bit unusual,” White said by phone from Lisbon today. “That’s why the data for some of the provinces is being looked at. But it could well be that it is accurate.”

Inner Mongolia is one of the provinces that reported large increases, he said.

The ILZSG, founded in 1959, has 28 country members that account for more than 85 percent of world lead production and usage, according to its website.

“Chinese output without doubt has increased,” White said. “Whether it’s increased by as much as official figures have indicated is yet to be determined.”

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