Saturday , 18 November 2017


Top 10 Silver Producing Countries & Top 10 Silver Mining Companies Worldwide

Silver output continues to rise, mainly through recent primary silver mine openings,10 Ounce Silver Bullion Bars although by only a small annual percentage which suggests that demand may increase at a more rapid rate keeping silver in supply deficit.

The above introductory comments are edited excerpts from an article* by Laurence Williams (mineweb.com) entitled World’s top 10 silver producers updated – companies & countries.

Williams goes on to say in further edited excerpts:

Top 10 Silver Producing Countries

As can be seen from the table below, most of the top 10 producing countries saw an increase in silver output during the first half of the year with the only decline seen in estimated Chinese production.

Rank Country

H1 13

H1 14

Y-o-Y %

1. Mexico

72.8 Moz

82.8 Moz

+14%

2. Peru

55.6 Moz

56.9 Moz

+2%

3. China

62.3 Moz

54.7 Moz

-12%

4. Australia

29.7 Moz

30.8 Moz

+4%

5. Russian Federation

23.5 Moz

25.0 Moz

+7%

6. Bolivia

19.9 Moz

22.3 Moz

+12%

7. Chile

18.6 Moz

20.2 Moz

+9%

8. Poland

19.4 Moz

19.4 Moz

0%

9. USA

17.1 Moz

17.9 Moz

+5%

10. Guatemala

3.4 Moz

13.3 Moz

+297%

  Other

78.2 Moz

73.9 Moz

-5%

  Global Production

400.3 Moz

417.2 Moz

+4%

Source:  Metals Focus

The drop in Chinese production was largely due to a decline in base metals output and thus associated byproduct silver, during the year. With Chinese metals demand figures apparently picking up in the second half of this year, however, some of this downturn in production may well be recovered as the year progresses.

The most notable addition to the global Top 10 is Guatemala where the start-up and ramp up of a new primary silver mine, Tahoe Resources’ high grade Escobal property, potentially one of the world’s largest silver mines in terms of production) was mainly responsible for a huge upturn in the country’s silver output – indeed it knocked Argentina (a country whose name is synonymous with silver) out of the 10th spot among global silver producers despite the latter country itself recording a 12% silver production increase to 12.8 million ounces.

Looking ahead, the analysts at Metals Focus reckons that global silver output may peak this year buoyed by the strong H1 figures. Beyond 2014 production growth is expected to moderate and is seen as plateauing at about 850 million ounces annually. Indeed, the cutbacks by mining majors in new project investment and development could see global silver output entering a period of secular decline.

Top 10 Silver Producers

In the table of the top 10 global silver producers shown below only four could be classified as primary silver miners – and virtually all those will, in any case, also be producing other metals – notably gold, lead and zinc – as very significant by products without which they would perhaps not be profitable mining companies.

Rank Company

H1 13

H1 14

Y-o-Y %

1. KGHM Polska Miedsz

19.3 Moz

19.3 Moz

0%

2. Fresnillo

19.1 Moz

19.1 Moz

0%

3. Goldcorp

12.8 Moz

18.6 Moz

+45%

4. BHP Billiton

20.7 Moz

17.3 Moz

-17%

5. Glencore Xstrata

19.8 Moz

16.6 Moz

– 16%

6. Polymetal

14.0 Moz

15.5 Moz

+11%

7. Pan American Silver

12.5 Moz

13.2 Moz

+6%

8. Cia Minera Volcan

10.1 Moz

10.4 Moz

+3%

9. Buenaventura

9.2 Moz

9.0 Moz

-2%

10. Coeur Mining

8.4 Moz

8.5 Moz

+1%

         
  Global Mine Production

400.3 Moz

417.2 Moz

+4%

Source:  Metals Focus

What this tends to mean is that global silver output is not for the most part wholly dependent on the silver price, but is more likely to rise and fall with the fortunes of the base metals miners, and to a lesser extent the gold miners, implying that output is much more subject to global industrial demand than is gold alone which tends to plough its own furrow.

Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions in the above article are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original post. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.

*http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en/mineweb-editors?oid=256432&sn=Detail (Moneyweb Holdings Limited, 1997 – 2014; Subscribe to free newsletter)

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