Tin is one of the earliest metals known and used.   Because of its hardening effect on copper, tin was used in bronze implements as early as 3,500 B.C. although the pure metal was not used until about 600 B.C. 

About 35 countries mine tin throughout the world. 

Nearly every continent has an important tin-mining country.  Tin is a relatively scarce element with an abundance in the earth's crust of about 2 parts per million (ppm), compared with 94 ppm for zinc, 63 ppm for copper, and 12 ppm for lead.

There are many important uses for tin. Most is used to produce tinplate, or steel coated with tin which is used for food packaging. Tin and tin alloys are used also for solder, especially in the electronics industry.

It is commonly used as an alloy for bearing metal and as an alloy in metallic coatings. Inorganic compounds of tin are used in ceramics and glazes. Organic compounds of tin are used in plastics, wood preservatives, pesticides and in fire retardants.