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Refined silver: Industrias Peñoles is the largest producer worldwide

Industrias Peñoles is comprised of 21 operating plants and is the world’s largest producer of refined silver and is the Latin American leader in the production of refined gold and lead.

The company is also among the world’s leading producers of refined zinc and sodium sulfate.

Through its 75% shareholding in Fresnillo plc, Peñoles participates in the production of gold, silver and other metals contained in the concentrates, dorés and precipitates produced by this subsidiary’s mines.

In turn, Fresnillo plc is the most important producer of silver in Mexico and in the world, accounting for 24% of the national total and 6.2% of the world total.

Refined silver

The metallurgical business started with the Lead Smelter, Zinc Refinery (1973) and the Lead-Silver Refinery (1975).

This was followed by the Bermejillo plant (Bermejillo, Durango) in 1981-which processes Met-Mex waste, and the Aleazin plant (Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila) in 1994, which produces zinc alloys for the galvanizing and die-casting industry.

In 2013, Met-Mex Peñoles and Aleazin merged into Metalúrgica Met-Mex Peñoles (Met-Mex).

Today, Met-Mex is one of the largest non-ferrous metals metallurgical complexes and one of the top two producers of refined silver worldwide.

Like gold, silver has also been used as a currency in the past.

However, the main difference between gold and silver is that while about half of the demand for gold is for jewelry, about half of the demand for silver for fabrication is for industrial applications.

New mine production accounts for approximately 82% of the total silver supply. Recycled silver accounts for about 17% of the total supply.

According to the Silver Institute, industrial applications and jewelry demand accounted for more than 65% of total silver demand in 2021.

Photography has been taking up a smaller share of global silver demand, falling from 5% in 2012 to 3% in 2021, while PV demand has increased in recent years, accounting for 11% in 2021.

Silver price movements can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as central bank announcements about a country’s silver reserves, central bank agreements, political uncertainties around the world and economic concerns.


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