Global zinc demand is expected to grow 4-5 percent per annum in the near term on the back of higher infrastructure spend and strong automobile sales, Hindustan Zinc (HZL) said on Tuesday. The firm, in which billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta has a majority stake, added that closure of zinc mines across the world has led to a stronger price outlook for the metal in the medium term. “Global zinc consumption is expected to continue in 2016-17 as infrastructure spending and stronger automobile sales globally are likely to increase zinc demand by 4-5 percent per annum in the near term,” HZL Chairman Agnivesh Agarwal said in his message to the company’s shareholders. “In India, the government’s focus on ‘Make in India’ and infrastructure development is expected to provide the stimulus.” In its annual report, HZL said: “Infrastructure, construction and automobile industries are the main demand drivers for zinc in India.We have been consistently increasing our production capabilities to make India self-sufficient in zinc.” The company said mined metal production in 2016-17 is expected to be higher than in 2015-16. It has termed the enactment of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, (MMDRA Act) in March 2015 as “a significant event”. “On the positive side, the MMDRA Act provides continuity to our mining leases, at least till 2030. The Act also brings transparency to grant of mineral concessions via auctions and reduces disputes. However, it will increase outgo to the government on existing leases,” it added.