Lead is a soft, dense, and low-melting metal used as a significant component of the automotive battery. As it is water resistant, lead is also used in paints to develop long-lasting roofing material and in the plumbing industry. It is extensively used in number of commercial applications such as health technology, insulation & cabling, weights, and soldering. Lead is produced from mined lead ore or from secondary production, where it is recovered from recycled products.

It is extracted from underground mines and usually found in traces of different metals such as galena, silver, copper, zinc, cadmium, antimony, and arsenic. It has high economical value and is relatively economical to produce.

A major application for lead is in vehicle batteries – from traditional internal combustion engines to the batteries which support safety mechanisms in electric vehicles.

Lead is also used in storage technologies, for example in data centres and telecommunication systems, as well as in emergency power generators for hospitals and other vital services.  

Lead plays a key role in recycling other metals. Its carrier properties make it an efficient and effective enabler for recycling non-ferrous metals, from gallium used in mobile phones to the platinum in catalytic convertors. Lead itself can also be recycled indefinitely.

Its high density makes lead an ideal shield against radiation used in medical imaging technologies – ensuring that patients and staff are protected when undergoing vital diagnostic tests, including X-rays and CT scans.

In 2017, total world lead reserves, as calculated by the U.S. Geological Survey, were an estimated eighty-eight million (88,000,000) tonnes. Prices in 2017 rose from US$2,237 per tonne in January to US$2,509 per tonne in December.

In 2020 the top exporters of Lead ores and concentrates  were Mexico ($1.7B), Peru ($841M), United States ($700M), Australia ($539M), and Russia ($488M). Australia is at the forefront of technological development in lead mining and processing. Almost all of Australia's lead-zinc mines are underground operations and are highly mechanized.

In 2020 the top importers of Lead ores and concentrates were China ($2.26B), South Korea ($1.8B), Germany ($489M), Belgium ($273M), and Netherlands ($255M).

Nigeria is one of the Africa countries with abundant lead natural resources deposits and minerals.

Listed below are some of the states in Nigeria that are rich in lead deposits, they are Akwa Ibom, Imo, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, Niger, Ebonyi, FCT, Plateau, Cross River, Taraba, and Zamfara.

There are various ores containing some percentage of lead. However only three ores are usually mined in order to produce lead. The most common ore is Galena and this ore generally contains only lead and sulphur. The other two (2) types of ore, mined for lead production, are Cerussite and Anglesite. 

These three ores combine for ninety-five percent (95%) of the total lead mining production. However these deposit commonly contain other ores more prominently, such as silver and zinc. Lead is therefore usually a by-product of silver and zinc mining. 

Only half of the worldwide lead production is derived from mining activities. The other half is obtained from recycling, most notably of car batteries.

It is estimated that Nigeria has over ten million (10,000,000) tons of lead ore deposit The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has revealed that a total of forty-nine thousand, eight hundred and sixty-eight (49,868) tons of lead were exported between 2013 and 2017.

The industry is regulated by the minirtsy of mines and steel development through the cadastral office to issues mining licenses to industry players. The ministry also issues exprt license to miners that wants to export their products.

The lead mining market expected to reach a value of nearly $9.22 billion by 2022, significantly growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of one point seven percent (1.7%) during the forecast period. The growth in the Lead mining market is due to increase in automotive, construction projects in rapidly developing countries such as China and India owing to rise in population and infrastructure.

There is a large, growing and sustainable market for lead ore hence would it would make economic sense to go into the mining of lead ore in Nigeria.