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Commodity fast facts

Commodity Fast Facts


  • Zinc plays a critical role in solar energy. Galvanized steel is the material of choice for the structures that support and align solar panels, while zinc is also a component of the solar cells themselves.
  • In addition to durability, zinc-coated steel framing can bear higher loads with less material than dimensional lumber. This allows for design flexibility and also saves considerably on material usage.

Source: International Zinc Association


  • Canada has the third-largest oil reserves in the world. Of the 172 billion barrels of Canadian oil that can be recovered economically with today’s technology, 166 billion barrels are located in the oil sands.
  • Canada is the largest supplier of crude oil and petroleum products to the U.S., with the oil sands being the largest source.

Source: Canada’s Oil Sands

Steelmaking Coal

  • 30,000 tonnes of steelmaking coal was required to produce the steel used in the Canada Line rapid transit system that connects Richmond and Vancouver International Airport to downtown Vancouver in B.C.
  • Rail is the most environmentally responsible way to move steelmaking coal—up to four times more efficient than trucks. A single freight train replaces up to 250 trucks, saving 35,000 litres in fuel and 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Source: Coal Alliance


  • With its exceptional current-carrying capacity, copper is more efficient than any other electrical conductor. Annealed copper is the international standard to which all other electrical conductors are compared.
  • Corrosion resistance, reliability and superior conductivity make copper the ideal metal for grounding systems. Copper radials, plates, electrodes, conductors and wiring are all key to lightning protection, the process of creating electrical paths of least resistance in order to direct lightning strikes to the ground and away from where they can cause damage.

Source: Think Copper