Mexico continued to dominate world silver production last year, despite a 9.5% drop on the previous year, according to World Bank data.
The 5,541 tonnes of silver produced in 2020 was far superior to second place China, which overtook Peru with 3,443 tonnes. Peru followed with 2,991 tonnes of output.
Global production of silver totaled 25,516 tons last year; a 3.7% decrease compared to 2019, largely due to Covid-19 restrictions which required several major silver producers to temporarily halt production. The precious metal is also subject to price fluctuations, which are influenced by the performance of industrial metals.
Mexico’s Fresnillo plc, the world’s largest silver producing company, said mine extraction of the metal has shown a steady decline since 2015.
The world’s supply of silver comes primarily from two sources: mining production and recycled scrap. In 2020, mining production contributed 81.1% of the total silver supply, with scrap contributing 18.8%.
Within mining, only 28.7% of silver come from mines dedicated to its extraction: 71.3% comes as a by-product from lead, zinc, copper and gold.
Other major silver producing countries include Bolivia, Chile, Poland and Australia.
With reports from El Economista