Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas.

Mexico still No. 1 for silver production

Eight years in a row as the world's leading silver producer

Mexico held on to first place in global silver production last year for the eighth year in a row, a situation that shows no sign of changing.

Mining firms operating in Mexico extracted a total of 196.4 million ounces of silver during the year, according to the World Silver Survey 2018, produced for The Silver Institute by Thomson Reuters.

Despite global silver production dropping by 4.1% between 2016 and 2017, “the story was more upbeat in the case of Mexico,” where the volume of production rose by 5%, or 10.1 million ounces, explained the lead metals analyst at Thomson Reuters.

Johann Wiebe said the favorable year for Mexico was the result of good production at the San Julián mine, operated by Mexico’s Fresnillo, and Peñasquito, operated by the Canadian miner Goldcorp.

The president of the Silver Institute said Mexico’s leadership in silver production is a sign that the domestic industry is making efforts to maintain long-term, economically viable production.

Octavio Alvídrez Ortega is confident that the positive growth trend will continue, as relevant silver deposits have been identified and more mining projects continue to be developed.

Mexico being the top silver producer in the world, he continued, is a consequence of the investment of firms that have made the effort to counter conditions like higher taxes and insecurity, “a clear sign that we miners can overcome those obstacles.”

Although worldwide silver production was down, demand was as strong as ever, the survey highlighted, especially in the industrial and jewelry sectors.

The price of an ounce of silver ranged between US $15.22 and 18.56 in 2017, with an average price of $17.50.

Source: El Financiero (sp)


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