Britannia has been refining lead and silver from crude lead shipped from the Mount Isa Mines, Queensland, Australia since 1931. The Northfleet site was chosen due to its central location and its proximity to London. Between 1931 and 1968 the production capacity was 70,000 tonnes of primary lead per annum. After many years of modernisation and expansion it is today capable of producing over 180,000 tonnes of lead and 400 tonnes of silver per annum.
In 2003 Xstrata acquired 100% of BRM through the successful acquisition of MIM.