The economics of primary lead and zinc production are influenced by geological attributes of deposits and geographical factors such as access to transport infrastructure and markets. Characteristics of deposit types such as SEDEX, VMS, CRD and MVT influence both revenue and costs. Resulting mine economics are reviewed with focus on Australia, Canada, USA and Europe. Mine development and depletion and changes in smelting due to tightening environmental standards and changing concentrate availability are reviewed for the last 25 years. This includes major changes in smelting flowsheets to adapt to feedstock supply shifts. Changes in industry structure including consolidation, changes in vertical integration and the rise of Chinese production are examined. The role of byproduct recovery, particularly silver, on economics of both mines and smelters is reviewed. A future outlook on lead-zinc industry structure in Australia, Canada, USA and Europe to 2040 is included.