The International Lead and Zinc Study Group is one of the few international fora where Governments and Industry with an interest in the lead and zinc markets can exchange views on related economic issues and on the consequences of international environmental and health related initiatives on the trade in lead and zinc. This takes place via the Group’s Economic and Environment Committee. In order to facilitate this work, the ILZSG secretariat maintains contacts with relevant international organisations such as the OECD, UNEP, the Basel Secretariat, the European Commission and the World Bank, as well as private industry associations.
The International Lead and Zinc Study Group is designated as an International Commodity Body (ICB) by the United Nations agency the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). In this capacity the ILZSG has developed and submitted projects to the CFC for funding. In each project the ILZSG has worked with a Project Executing Agency to design and implement the project. These projects have helped to transfer technology, promote new uses for lead and zinc and to improve the environmental impact of the metals.
Currently the Common Fund for Commodities offers loans at concessionary rates for projects involving a range of commodities. In the area of metals, the CFC is involved in a project in India to support the use of zinc in die-casting.
In its role as the International Commodity Body, the ILZSG has been involved in a number of projects that have been approved and funded by the CFC. Some of these have been Fast Track projects which have received funding in the form of a grant of US$120,000 or less. Among the more notable projects have been the following:
ILZSG submitted a proposal to set up a collection system for the proper recycling of used lead acid batteries in Senegal. The informal collection systems for batteries had caused environmental damage and lead poisoning of a number of people. The Project Executing Agency for this fast track project was the International Lead Management Center (ILMC).
This seminar was held in Windhoek, Namibia in June 2007. Using funding from the CFC, ILZSG organized a forum between governments and industry to encourage investment in mining in Southern Africa, to improve transparency, to assess the current state of the industry and to try and agree on a common vision for its future. Representatives from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe were invited.
A Fast Track Project to facilitate the installation of a diesel generator-battery system in a remote area of Peru. The system utilized an energy storage system designed around lead acid batteries, and thereby demonstrated the feasibility of using lead in this application. The International Lead and Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO ) was the Project Executing Agency.
This project involved workshops and demonstrations. The primary objective was to bring together governments (policy makers/regulators), industry (lead battery recyclers, producers, collectors, lead miners and smelters), major lead users and other stakeholders to develop a product stewardship certification model for lead. Workshops were held in London in 2005, in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 and El Salvador in 2007.
The project evolved through three phases, the first in 1993 second in 1997 and the third phase beginning in 2005.
Phase I consisted of research studies of the situation and future potential in manufacturing and marketing zinc galvanized products in six then developing countries: Peru, Morocco, Tunisia, China, India and South Korea.
Phase II aimed to expose qualified technicians and engineers from China, India, South Korea, Morocco, Tunisia and Peru to modern techniques of hot dip galvanizing. The program brought 15 individuals to France for the training and site visits were made to Belgium and Germany. The Chambre Syndicale du Zinc et du Cadmium was the Project Executing Agency for the first and second phases of the project.
In phase III, the Common Fund for Commodities provided a combination of a loan and a grant for a project to demonstrate the best available technology for optimal production, environmental performance and energy management in hot dip galvanizing. The project worked with four demonstration plants in China, and industry training tools were developed to help to disseminate the information to other countries as well. The International Zinc Association was the Project Executing Agency for phase III.
This project grew and evolved through three phases, starting in 1993.
Phase I consisted of a number of research studies of the situation prevailing at that time and the potential for manufacturing and marketing zinc die castings in six then developing countries: Peru, Morocco, Tunisia, China, India and South Korea. The Zinc Development Association was the Project Executing Agency for this phase.
Phase II built on this by organizing a 10-day course for a group of qualified individuals from five target countries: China, India, Morocco, Peru and Thailand. It was intended that group members would apply the knowledge imparted by the course to make significant differences in their national die cast industries.
Phase III involved the setting up of a Center of Excellence and a demonstration plant in India to permit the transfer of the latest technology and offer training in promoting use of zinc die cast products. The International Zinc Association was the Project Executing Agency for this phase.
This project was designed to encourage the wider use of zinc based protection systems, especially in tropical marine environments. The focus was on expanding the use of galvanized reinforcing bar in tropical areas in order to improve quality and longevity of construction. Data from field tests and laboratory experiments were compared and technical manuals summarizing zinc-based corrosion systems were drawn up. A series of seminars were held in Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, Thailand, China and India to disseminate information among engineers, architects, building contractors, technologists and others responsible for decisions on selecting materials for construction projects.