Zinc is the 4th most commonly used metal in the world, after iron, aluminum, and copper. It is primarily used in anti-corrosion applications, and is an essential trace element necessary for human, plant, and bacterialhealth.Zinc is most commonly mined from an ore called sphalerite, a sulfide nearly always found in conjunction with sulfides of copper, lead, and iron.Copper is combined with 3% to 45% zinc to make brass alloys.

Historically, Coloradohas beenone of themajor producers of zinc in the United States. Production has declined in Colorado, and the primary producers of zinc in the United States are now Tennessee and Missouri.