Lead was one of the first metals mined by humans, with archeological evidence going back more than 9000 years. Today, most lead is mined in conjunction with zinc. Lead is also extensively recycled, and currently more supply comes from recycling (5.6 million tonnes) than from primary mine supply (4.6 million tonnes), as estimated in 2014.
Lead has had many uses historically, many of which have been phased out due to toxicity concerns. Currently about 88% of lead is used in batteries. Other uses include ammunition, oxides in glass and ceramics, casting and sheet lead.