Silver Investment: Which Countries Have the Highest Silver Production Worldwide?

Which Countries Have the Highest Silver Production Worldwide?
Published on: Jun 13, 2024

According to the latest data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), global silver production in 2023 saw a slight increase to 26,000 tonnes, driven by the commencement of new silver mines or increased production from existing mines in Mexico and Chile. Additionally, Mexico once again became the world’s largest silver producer.

Here are the latest updates on the top ten silver-producing countries in 2023:

| Rank | Country         | Silver Production (tonnes) |


| 1    | Mexico          | 6400                        |

| 2    | China           | 3400                        |

| 3    | Peru            | 3100                        |

| 4    | Chile           | 1400                        |

| 5    | Poland          | 1300                        |

| 6    | Australia       | 1200                        |

| 6    | Bolivia         | 1200                        |

| 6    | Russia          | 1200                        |

| 9    | United States   | 1000                        |

| 10   | Kazakhstan      | 990                         |

  1. **Mexico (6400 tonnes):** Mexico’s silver production in 2023 increased slightly by 205 tonnes compared to the previous year. Fresnillo (LSE: FRES, OTC Pink: FNLPF), the world’s largest silver company, saw its silver production grow by 4.7% year-on-year. Zacatecas, home to some of the world’s largest silver mines, includes Fresnillo’s Zacatecas silver mine and Newmont’s (TSX: NGT, NYSE: NEM) Peñasquito polymetallic mine, the largest open pit mine in Mexico. In 2023, a workers’ strike led to a four-month halt in operations at Peñasquito.
  2. **China (3400 tonnes):** The recent rise of the Chinese silver market is mainly attributed to the development of the mining industry, as most of China’s silver output comes as a byproduct of other metals. Canadian miner Silvercorp Metals Inc (TSX: SVM, NYSEAMERICAN: SVM) claims to be China’s largest primary silver producer, owning several silver-lead-zinc mines, including the Ying mine in Henan and the Gaocheng mine in Guangdong.
  3. **Peru (3100 tonnes):** Peru’s silver production saw a slight increase in 2023, with silver reserves reaching 98,000 tonnes, the highest in the world, indicating significant potential for development. A large portion of the country’s physical silver output comes from the Antamina mine. Additionally, Fortuna Silver Mines Inc (TSX: FVI, NYSE: FSM) reported that its Caylloma mine in Peru produced over 1.23 million ounces of silver in 2023.
  4. **Chile (1400 tonnes):** Chile’s silver production in 2023 decreased by approximately 126 tonnes year-on-year, with silver reserves estimated at 26,000 tonnes. Most of the country’s silver production is a byproduct of copper and gold production. State-owned enterprise Codelco operates two of the country’s top five silver mines, Chuquicamata and Mina Ministro Hales. The other three major silver mines are Collahuasi, La Coipa, and Escondida.
  5. **Poland (1300 tonnes):** Poland’s silver production in 2023 remained steady compared to the previous year, with silver reserves amounting to 63,000 tonnes, indicating substantial potential for increased production. According to the World Silver Survey, Polish company KGHM Polska Miedz (WSE: KGH) has long been one of the largest silver producers globally.
  6. **Australia (1200 tonnes):** Australia’s silver production saw a slight increase, and the country has a long history of silver mining. South32 Ltd (ASX: S32, OTC Pink: SHTLF) operates Cannington, the largest silver mine in Australia. Other significant mines producing silver byproducts include the Mount Isa zinc mine and the Tritton copper mine. Development projects include the Nimbus silver-zinc project and the Bowdens and Webbs silver projects.
  7. **Bolivia (1200 tonnes):** Bolivia’s silver production saw a slight decrease of 14 tonnes, with silver reserves of 22,000 tonnes, indicating potential for increased production. Bolivia’s silver mines are primarily located in the Potosi region, including the San Cristobal zinc-lead-silver mine operated by San Cristobal Mining and the San Vicente underground silver-zinc mine operated by Pan American Silver (TSX: PAAS, NASDAQ: PAAS).
  8. **Russia (1200 tonnes):** Russia’s silver production decreased by 80 tonnes, with silver reserves totaling 92,000 tonnes. In early 2024, Polymetal International (LSE: POLY, OTC Pink: POYYF) received shareholder approval to sell its Russian operations. Additionally, Silver Bear Resources (TSX: SBR) has the high-grade Vertikalny silver deposit within its Mangazeisky project, which produced 264,144 ounces of silver in the first quarter of 2024.
  9. **United States (1000 tonnes):** The United States saw a slight decrease of 10 tonnes in silver production, with silver reserves amounting to 23,000 tonnes. The country’s silver production comes from 4 silver mines and 31 base and precious metal mines that produce silver as a byproduct. The two major silver-producing states are Alaska and Nevada. Coeur Mining Inc (NYSE: CDE), the largest silver producer in the U.S., sourced the majority of its 2023 silver output from the Greens Creek and Lucky Friday mines.
  10. **Kazakhstan (990 tonnes):** In 2023, Kazakhstan’s silver production decreased, but the country replaced Argentina as the world’s tenth-largest silver producer. KAZ Minerals, the largest silver producer in Kazakhstan, has five operational assets, two of which are among the country’s top five silver mines, with the other two owned by Glencore.

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