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02-Mar-2024

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Base Metals


Base metals are common metals that tarnish, oxidize, or corrode relatively quickly when exposed to air or moisture. They
can be contrasted with precious metals and are widely used in commercial and industrial applications, such as construction
and manufacturing.


Examples of base metals include Lead, Copper, Nickel, Aluminium and Zinc.


Base metals are often more abundant in nature and sometimes easier to mine. That makes base metals far less expensive
for use in manufacturing than precious metals. However, base metals are invaluable to the global economy because of
their utility and ubiquity.

Copper

Within the base metals, Copper is one of the earliest metals to be extracted in ancient India. Copper is the third largest metal consumed in the world after Steel and Aluminium.

Copper is a soft, malleable and ductile metal and is considered to be the best non-precious metal conductor of electricity.

Top Copper Mining nations are Chile, Peru, China, Congo and US where Chile being highest.

Aluminium

Aluminium (Al) is the third most abundant element present in the earth's crust. It exists in a very stable combination with
other materials, particularly silicates and oxides from its parent ore, Bauxite.


Aluminium’s unique characteristics make it a highly attractive metal. It is primarily used in transportation, packaging
(cans), and defence and consumer electronic industries. Its high strength-to-weight ratio makes it suitable for the
construction of aircrafts, cars and train carriages. Transportation equipment and building construction account for more
than 50 per cent of aluminium consumption.

Lead

Lead is a heavy metal that is denser than most common materials. Lead is soft and malleable, and also has a relatively low
melting point. When freshly cut, lead is silvery with a hint of blue; it tarnishes to a dull grey colour when exposed to air.
Production of lead is increasing worldwide due to its use in lead-acid batteries. There are two major categories of production:
primary from mined ores, and secondary from scrap. The top three producers of mined lead concentrate in that year
were China, Australia, and the United States. The top three producers of refined lead were China, the United States, and
India.

Nickel

Nickel is the main alloying metal required in the production of certain types of stainless steel. The strength and life span
of products manufactured using stainless steel are superior to those produced by using non stainless steel. Nickel is
primarily used (65 per cent) in the manufacturing of stainless steel. About 18 per cent of the metal is used to produce
other steel and non-ferrous alloys.


Around 7 percent of nickel is used in electroplating, with about 6 per cent being used in coins and chemicals. It is also
used in the production of superalloys which are used extensively in the aerospace industry. Nickel-cadmium and other
nickel alloys are used to make batteries for electronic gadgets—mobile phones, computers, digital cameras, and other
such products that need small, lightweight and high-capacity power sources.

Zinc

Zinc is a silvery blue-grey metal with a relatively low melting and boiling point. Both Lead & Zinc are found to occur together
in ore along with other metals like silver and cadmium. Worldwide, largest single use of zinc is in the Galvanising Industry
about 50%. India has the self-sufficiency in respect of zinc.

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NSE Base Metals specifications

Parameters Copper Copper Aluminium Aluminium Mini Lead Lead Mini Nickel Zinc Zinc Mini Zinc
Instrument Type Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Options Contract with Futures as Underlying (OPTFUT) Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Futures Contract (FUTBAS)  Options Contract with Futures as Underlying (OPTFUT)
Trading Unit 2.5 MT  2.5 MT  5 MT  1 MT 5 MT 1 MT  1.5 MT 5 MT 1 MT 5 MT
Quotation  / Base Value ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg  ₹ per 1 Kg 
Tick Size ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.01 ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.10 ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.05  ₹ 0.01
Settlement Logic Compulsory Delivery  Devolved on Futures Compulsory Delivery  Compulsory Delivery  Compulsory Delivery  Compulsory Delivery  Compulsory Delivery  Compulsory Delivery  Compulsory Delivery  Devolved on Futures


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Updated on: 03/11/2023