Where silver comes from?

Posted | 16/10/2014 / Views | 2507
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A lot of people don't realise that, as opposed to gold, a large proportion of silver supply comes as a bi-product of base metals such as lead and zinc and indeed gold itself, rather than as primary output of silver mines.  Therefore it is harder to collate the data to show where it has come from.  The tables below (produced by analysts Metals Focus) show supply in the first half of this year compared to last, by company and country.  A few things are worth noting:

  • Anecdotally the modest 4% growth has been outstripped by demand
  • Further growth is largely dictated by industrial demand for the base metals.  Industrial output indices around the world have been softening.
  • Cost of production has dropped considerably to just $14.09 but this is largely off volume and currencies weakening against the USD and considered a short lived hit before future cost effects due to same.
  • Beyond 2014 they see production growth plateauing at about 850 million ounces annually and note the cutbacks by mining majors in both new project investment and development may result in a period of prolonged production decline.

Top 10 Silver Mining Companies H1 2014 (Million ounces)

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


Top 10 silver producers by country H1 2014 (Million ounces)

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