Silver Reserves by Country

You might know which country produces the most silver, but do you know where the highest reserves of the metal are found?

three

Silver investors are often interested to hear which countries produce the most of the metal. After all, if a nation is producing a lot of silver, many companies are likely operating there — and investment opportunities may thus be available.

However, what investors sometimes fail to consider is silver reserves, or how much economically mineable silver a country holds. While in general the world’s top silver-producing countries also hold high silver reserves, in some cases countries with high silver reserves are not putting out much silver.

With that in mind, here’s an overview of silver reserves by country, with a particular focus on the three countries that currently hold the highest silver reserves. Though it’s certainly important for investors to be aware of where silver is currently being mined, it’s also worth keeping an eye on which countries may eventually become powerhouses in the industry.

All silver reserves by country data is based on the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on silver.

1. Peru

Reserves: 120,000 MT

At 120,000 MT, Peru holds the highest silver reserves in the world by a long shot. And unlike some countries with high silver reserves, the nation was a top producer of silver in 2016 — it put out 4,100 MT of the metal, coming in second place in the world.

The majority of Peru’s silver is produced at the Antamina mine, a joint venture between BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT), Glencore (LSE:GLEN), Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.B,NYSE:TECK) and Mitsubishi (TSE:8058). While the mine produces more silver than any other in the country, it is primarily a copper mine, and silver is produced as a by-product.

Minerals account for about 60 percent of Peru’s total exports. Peru is also the world’s second-largest copper producer, the third-largest producer of zinc and tin and the fifth-largest producer of gold.

2. Australia

Reserves: 89,000 MT

Australia produces much less silver than Peru, but its reserves of the metal are nevertheless high — it put out 1,400 MT of silver in 2014, and its reserves stand at 89,000 MT.

Silver mining has a rich history in Australia. BHP Billiton began as a silver producer there in the 1920s, and it remains the country’s largest producer of the metal, operating the Cannington mine in Queensland.

3. Poland

Reserves: 85,000 MT

Poland is very close to Australia, with silver reserves of 85,000 MT. It produced just 1,400 MT of silver in 2016, with much of that coming from KGHM Polska Miedsz (WSE:KGH). The company is consistently one of the world’s top silver-producing companies, and could become larger.

Currently, around 75 percent of metallic silver is obtained as a by-product of copper mining. KGHM’s mineable resources based on concessions currently held, including the new Deep Glogow deposit, are estimated at 1.1 billion tonnes of copper ore grading 2.08 percent copper and 58 grams per tonne silver.

Connect with our Featured Silver Stocks to receive the latest news and investor presentations.

More silver reserves by country

Peru, Australia and Poland have the highest silver reserves, but many other countries also hold significant silver reserves. Here’s a quick look at where other nations stand:

4. Chile — 77,000 MT

5. China — 39,000 MT

6. Mexico — 37,000 MT

7. US — 25,000 MT

8. Bolivia — 22,000 MT

9. Russia — 20,000 MT

Various other countries hold a total of 57,000 MT of silver reserves, with the world total sitting at 570,000 MT.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates.

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


This article is updated each year. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information.

By Charlotte McLeod, November 26, 2015

Silver investors are often interested to hear which countries produce the most of the metal. After all, if a nation is producing a lot of silver, many companies are likely operating there — and investment opportunities may thus be available. 

However, what investors sometimes fail to consider is silver reserves, or how much economically mineable silver a country holds. While in general the world’s top silver-producing countries also hold high silver reserves, in some cases countries with high silver reserves are not putting out much of the metal.

With that in mind, here’s an overview of silver reserves by country, with a particular focus on the three countries that currently hold the highest silver reserves. Though it’s certainly important for investors to be aware of where silver is currently being mined, it’s also worth keeping an eye on which countries may eventually become powerhouses in the industry.

All silver reserves by country data is based on the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on silver.

1. Peru

At 98,900 MT, Peru holds the highest silver reserves in the world by a long shot. And unlike some countries with high silver reserves, the nation was a top producer of silver in 2014 — it put out 3,700 MT of the metal, coming in third place in the world.

The majority of Peru’s silver is produced at the Antamina mine, a joint venture between BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT), Glencore (LSE:GLEN), Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B,NYSE:TCK) and Mitsubishi (TSE:8058). While the mine produces more silver than any other in the country, it is primarily a copper mine, and silver is produced as a by-product.

Connect with our Featured Silver Stocks to receive the latest news and investor presentations.

This infographic from Kitco shows a number of other top silver-producing mines in the South American nation:

Image courtesy of Kitco.

2. Australia

Australia produces much less silver than Peru, but its reserves of the metal are nevertheless high — it put out 1,900 MT of silver in 2014, and its reserves stand at 85,000 MT.

That said, silver mining has a rich history in Australia. BHP Billiton began as a silver producer there in the 1920s, and it remains the country’s largest producer of the metal, operating the Cannington mine in Queensland.

3. Poland

Poland is tied with Australia with silver reserves of 85,000 MT. It produced just 1,200 MT of silver in 2014, with much of that coming from KGHM Polska Miedsz (WSE:KGH). The company is consistently one of the world’s top silver-producing companies, and could become larger.

According to CommodityHQ.com, Poland’s silver reserves did not used to be that high. The US Geological Survey recently revised them upward after receiving new information from the country and from silver industry sources.

More silver reserves by country

Peru, Australia and Poland have the highest silver reserves, but many other countries also hold significant silver reserves. Here’s a quick look at where other nations stand:

  • Chile — 77,000 MT
  • China — 43,000 MT
  • Mexico — 37,000 MT
  • US — 25,000 MT
  • Bolivia — 22,000 MT
  • Canada — 7,000 MT

Various other countries hold a total of 55,000 MT of silver reserves, with the world total sitting at 530,000 MT. Data is unavailable on silver reserves for Russia, which was a top producer of silver in 2014 at 1,700 MT.

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Get the Latest Silver Investing Stock Information

Get the latest information about companies associated with Silver Investing delivered directly to your inbox.

Silver $0-15m
Silver $15-50m
Silver $50-250m

By selecting company or companies above, you are giving consent to receive email from those companies. And remember you can unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with our Featured Silver Stocks to receive the latest news and investor presentations.

Comments

Leave a Reply