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Supply & Demand
Silver Production

Global silver mine production grew last year to 787.0 Moz, primarily due to by-product output from the lead/zinc sector. Primary silver mine supply grew by 1 percent to account for 28 percent of global silver mine output. Mexico was the world’s largest silver producing country in 2012, followed by China, Peru, Australia and Russia. Primary silver mine cash costs rose to $8.88 an ounce, reflecting higher prices for labor, electricity, and maintenance charges.


Top 20 Silver Producing Countries in 2012

(millions of ounces)

1. Mexico 162.2
2. China 117.0
3. Peru 111.3
4. Australia 56.9
5. Russia 45.0
6. Poland 41.2
7. Bolivia 39.7
8. Chile 37.0
9. United States 32.6
10. Argentina 24.1
11. Canada 21.3
12. Kazakhstan 17.5
13. India 12.7
14. Sweden 9.8
15. Turkey 7.6
16. Morocco 7.4
17. Guatemala 6.6
18. Indonesia 4.4
19. Islamic Rep. of Iran 3.2
20. South Africa 2.9

Top 20 Silver Producing Companies in 2012

(millions of ounces)

Company Country Output
1. KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.¹ Poland 41.0
2. BHP Billiton plc. Australia 39.0
3. Fresnillo plc² Mexio 36.9
4. Goldcorp Inc.³ Canada 30.5
5. Polymetal International plc.² Russia 26.5
6. Pan American Silver Corp.² Canada 25.1
7. Volcan Cia. Minera S.A.A.⁴ Peru 22.0
8. Cia. de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A.⁴ Peru 18.3
9. Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp.² USA 18.0
10. Southern Copper Corp. USA 13.6
11. Hochschild Mining plc. Peru 13.6
12. Sumitomo Corp.³ Bolivia 13.0
13. Kazakhmys plc. Kazakhstan 12.6
14. Industrias Peñoles S.A.B de C.V. Mexico 12.2
15. Xstrata Zinc⁵ Switzerland 11.4
16. Kinross Gold Corp.⁶ Canada 10.7
17. Teck Resources Ltd.³ Canada 10.6
18. Yamana Gold Inc. Canada 9.0
19. Silver Standard Resource Inc.² Canada 8.6
20. First Majestic Silver Corp.² Mexico 8.3
¹ Reported metallic silver production
² Primary producer
³ Estimate
⁴ Includes production from minority subsidiaries
⁵ Reported silver in concentrate and lead bullion
⁶ Reported Silver Sales

World’s Leading Primary Silver Mines in 2012

(millions of ounces)

Rank Mine/Country Operating Company Prod.
1. Cannington¹, Australia BHP Billiton plc. 32.23
2. Fresnillo, Mexico Fresnillo plc. 26.38
3. Dukat², Russia Polymetal International plc. 15.50
4. Uchucchacua, Peru Compañia de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A. 11.26
5. Pirquitas, Argentina Silver Standard Resources Inc. 8.62
6. Palmarejo, Mexico Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. 8.24
7. Pallancata, Peru Hochschild Mining plc. / International Minerals Corp. 7.44
8. Saucito, Mexico Fresnillo plc. 7.05
9. Gümüsköy³, Turkey Eti Gümüş A.Ş. 6.43
10. Greens Creek, U.S. Hecla Mining Company 6.39
11. San José, Argentina Hochschild Mining plc. / McEwen Mining Inc. 5.95
12. San Bartolomé, Bolivia Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. 5.93
13. Arcata, Peru Hochschild Mining plc. 5.53
14. Imiter³, Morocco Société Métallurgique d’Imiter 5.48
15. Alamo Dorado, Mexico Pan American Silver Corp. 5.40
¹ Reported payable metal in concentrate; ² Including Gotsovoye; ³ Estimate

Material and statistics in this section were adapted in part from the Silver Institute’s World Silver Survey 2013 publication.

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