We all know many Middle East countries house the world's top oil reserves, but if you're reading this blog you likely want to know which country has the most silver deposits? We focus on identifying the top silver mines around the world. Some of the regions identified here may surprise you!
The #1 country in producing silver is...
Mexico is far ahead of other countries, producing 186 million ounces of silver in 2016. That's up from 169.7 million ounces in 2014.
The country is home to Fresnillo, one of the most productive silver companies on Earth. Fresnillo extracts silver and gold at six different mines in Mexico, and features several other projects in various stages of development.
The company produced 28.04 million ounces of silver alone in the first half of 2017, an 11-percent increase from the same time in 2016.
Not to be outshone, Goldcorp is another major player in the Mexican silver market. Its Penasquito mine posted the second-highest silver production in the world in 2013. Like other silver mines, Penasquito usually produces gold — silver is often coincident with other resources, and is regularly mined as a by-product.
The Tlalpujahua Gold and Silver Mine in Mexico mined 400,000 kg of silver before a landslide in 1937
And in second place...
Peru takes the #2 spot, producing 147 million ounces of silver in 2016. Peru has one the world’s largest-known silver reserves. There is a huge amount of untapped silver potential that could shuttle it up these rankings in the near future. Note that the majority of Peru’s silver comes from the Antamina mine in Northern Peru.
China Takes the Bronze Medal in Which Country Has the Most Silver
China is also a key figure in silver, with 112 million ounces of silver produced in 2016. Many experts attribute a key part of China's rise in silver to its development of other mining operations. As of 2012, around 95 percent of Chinese silver production was a by-product of other mining projects.
But there's an unfortunate consequence of all that silver mining in China; in 2015, a paper in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that copper and silver production in southwest China produced tremendous quantities of harmful heavy metals, such as lead, silver, zinc, and cadmium, starting in 1500 BC.
The other top silver-producing countries include, in this order, Chile, Australia, Poland and Russia. The U.S. and Canada are close to the bottom of the list.
Where does Canada fit into Which Country has the Most Silver?
Despite large gold reserves, just 23 million ounces of silver produced in this country on 2014 figures. Canada is a small player compared to giants such as China. You might be curious to learn where the main silver deposits are housed in the country.
A Nod to Ontario as Province with the Most Silver in Canada.
After assesing the data provided by the federal government and we learned that Ontario is home to 28% of the country's silver. The Yukon trailing at 21% and Quebec comes in third at 18%.
British Columbia might move up the rankings soon. Klondike Silver says it wants to revive the Slocan Mining Camp, a 100-square-kilometer brownfields silver-lead-zinc project in Southeastern BC. According to the company, it holds an active mine permit, a 100-ton-per-day mill and a licensed tailings pond facility.
We hope this post enlightened you on the many regions containing the world's silver mines and deposits. Be sure to check this section often for more intriguing news and analysis of gold, silver and precious metals markets.
At Global Bullion, we buy all sorts of precious metal bullion through our sister store Muzeum, including gold and silver.