Global silver mine production declined by 0.6 percent in 2016 to a total of 885.8 Moz. A large proportion of the drop was attributable to the lead/zinc and gold sectors, where production dipped by a combined 15.9 Moz. On a regional basis, Mexico registered the largest drop in production last year, followed by Australia and Argentina, yet those losses were partially offset by gains in Central and South America and Asia. Even so, Mexico was again the world’s largest silver producing country, followed by Peru, China, Chile and Russia.
Primary silver mine production grew by 1 percent to realize 30 percent of total silver mine output last year. Lead/zinc mines contributed 35 percent of 2016 by-product output, followed by copper mines at 23 percent and gold mining at 12 percent.
Material and statistics in this section were adapted in part from the Silver Institute’s World Silver Survey 2017 publication.