VMZINC and sustainable building
"VMZINC and sustainable building" refers to all our environmental data, because when we think about protecting the environment, we must refer to "restoring the ecological, economic and social balance between generations and regions", which is to say "sustainable development".
Environmental quality processes or standards in the building industry are designed to reduce the environmental, health, economic and/or social impacts of this sector. In other words, they contribute to sustainable development in the building industry.
Thanks to recycling, there is no threat to the supply of zinc ore in the foreseeable future. Zinc is currently found in the earth's crust, at a mean level of about 80(1) g/ton.
In some places, as a result of geological and chemical processes, zinc has been concentrated in particularly high levels. The ore can be extracted from areas when the zinc concentration exceeds 5%. Zinc mining resources are mainly located in North and South America, Australia, Asia and to a lesser extent, in Europe.
Mining resources are estimated at a level of 220(2) million tons of currently exploitable zinc ore reserves. Annual world consumption of zinc is at present 9,7(2) million tons. Since recycling accounts for about 39(3)% of zinc consumption, zinc reserves are depleted at a yearly rate of 5,9 million tons.
Increased recycling will compensate for future growth in consumption. On the basis of constant consumption and without assuming future exploration successes, existing exploitable zinc ore reserves will last for a period of about 55 years.
In fact, if potential ore reserves available in the future are added, total ore reserves are estimated at 1,900 million tons, a value which would satisfy zinc needs for several centuries at the current annual extraction rate.