The Top 5 Silver Producing Countries

  Country Silver Producion % of World Production
1 Peru 3,686 metric tonnes 17.30%
2 Mexico 3,236 metric tonnes 15.19%
3 China 2,800 metric tonnes 13.14
4 Australia 1,926 metric tonnes 9.04%
5 Chile 1,405 metric tonnes 6.59%
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  1. World mine production of silver was 21,300 tonnes in 2008, a slight increase from the 21,100 tonnes of silver produced in 2007. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, in Peru, the world's leading silver-producing country, silver production increased by 5%. Silver production also increased in Mexico (3%) and in China (4%), the second and third ranked silver producers, respectively. Production at Cia. Minas Buenaventura's (Lima, Peru) Uchucchacua Mine, Peru's leading silver'producing mine, increased by 13%, to 350 metric tonnes in 2008 from 310 metric tonnes in 2007. (a.)
  2. Demand for silver is built on three main pillars: industrial uses, photography and jewelry & silverware. Together, these three categories represent more than 95 percent of annual silver consumption. Ordinary household switches, which normally carry high electric current for electrical appliances from irons to refrigerators, use silver. Silver is the metal of choice for switch contacts because it does not corrode, which would result in overheating, posting a fire hazard. Today's electrical appliances are controlled by membrane switch panels, where the contacts are silver. Membrane switch panels are found in microwave ovens, automobiles and under the keys of personal computers. Due to their reliability and wide use, the silver-contact membrane switch market in the U.S. has grown to over $40 million annually. (b.)
  3. 126 million troy ounces of silver were used worldwide in 2007 for photography. Although a wide variety of technology is available, silver-based photography is expected to dominate the market for the foreseeable future due to its superior definition and low cost. Silver halide is the material that records what is to be seen in the photograph. As little as 4 photons of light activate silver halides which amplify that incident light by a factor of one billion times. In today's photography, silver halides are coupled with dyes that bring the colour of the world around us into a permanent record. (b.)
  4. 40 billion ounces is the estimated total worldwide silver production since 3000 B.C. In 2007 60% of silver production was used in industry, 20% was used in jewelry and silverware, 15% was used in photography, and 5% was used in coinage. 100% of silver production is used in industry, jewelry / silverware, photography and coinage. (b.)
  5. Coins and medals fabrication jumped by 63 percent to a record of 64.9 Moz (million ounces) in 2008. The main reason for this was a surge in investment-related purchases of bullion coins, both in the United States and Europe. Notably, fabrication of the U.S. Silver Eagle bullion coin achieved a record 19.6 Moz last year, approximately double the 2007 figure, and would have been higher if the U.S. Mint had sufficient blanks to produce coins to meet demand. In 2009, physical silver investment demand has continued to increase, as the U.S. Mint has already achieved a nearly 70 percent year-on-year rise in the first quarter. Silver posted an average price of $14.67 in 2009, the second highest average since the high reached in 1980. (b.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Brooks, W.E. (2008). "United States Geological Survey: 2008 Minerals Yearbook: Silver." Retrieved Jan 4, 2011.
  2. The Silver Institute. (2011). "Silver Facts". Retrieved Jan 4, 2011.
Tags: The Economy, China, Australia, Mining & Minerals

Sources:  U.S. Geological Survey Minerals Yearbook 2008.

List Notes: Data is in metric tonnes for the year 2008. All figures are reported silver production for the country specified.
Silver Producing Countries

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