Mining production contributed 81.1% of world silver supply

Mining production contributed 81.1% of world silver supply in 2020, according to information from Fresnillo plc.

The world’s silver supply comes mainly from two sources: mining production; and recycled scrap.

In 2020, mining production contributed 8.1% of the total silver supply, with scrap contributing 18.8% and the rest with official net sales of the sector.

Likewise, silver mine production, which has shown a moderate but slow decline since 2015, fell 6.3% more in 2020 compared to 2019, to 780.1 million ounces.

This is largely due to the Covid-19 lockdowns implemented by countries during the first half of the year, which required several major silver producers to temporarily halt production at their mines.

Mining production

The primary silver producing mines continue to produce only 28.7% of mine production, and the remaining 71.3% is extracted as a by-product of the lead, zinc, copper and gold mines.

In 2020, according to World Bank statistics, Mexico remained in the first position in the production of silver in the world, with 5,541 tons in 2020.

However, the Mexican silver production registered a fall of 5.1% year-on-year.

At the same time, in the second position, China (3,443 tons) displaced Peru (2,991 tons).

Silver is a metal that in the markets experiences a mixed behavior, being favorably influenced by the good performance of industrial metals and also being perceived as a precious metal of refuge.

Globally, silver production totaled 25,516 tons, a decrease of 3.7% compared to 2019.