Zinc is the fourth most widely used metal after iron, aluminum, and copper (lead is fifth). In abundant supply world-wide, zinc is mined and produced mainly in Canada, the former Soviet Union, Australia, Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. Historically, in the U.S. recoverable zinc has been mined in
19 states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Nearly 50% of all domestic zinc is produced in Alaska. Other top producing states in order of output are Tennessee, New York, and Missouri.
The zinc industry employs 2200 workers at mines and mills and 1400 at primary smelters.14 The four primary zinc smelters in the U.S. are located in Illinois, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. There are ten secondary zinc recovery plants in the U.S.17
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