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You might know which country produces the most silver, but do you know the top silver countries by reserves?

Silver investors are usually interested in which countries produce the most ounces of the metal.

After all, if a nation is producing an abundance of the white metal, many mining companies are likely operating there, and profitable investment opportunities may be available.

However, it’s also worth looking at silver reserves, also known as a country’s economically mineable silver supply. In general, the world’s largest global silver producers also have high silver reserves, but some countries with high silver reserves are not mining much of the metal.

Where there’s room to grow silver mine supply, there may be money to be made as well. For that reason, precious metals investors should be aware of which countries may eventually become silver supply powerhouses.

With that in mind, here’s an overview of top silver countries by reserves. All information is based on the US Geological Survey’s most recent data on silver.

1. Peru

Silver reserves: 120,000 MT

At 120,000 metric tonnes (MT), Peru is at the top of the list for highest silver reserves by country in the world. And unlike some countries with high silver reserves, the nation was a major producer of silver in 2021. The nation put out 3,800 MT of the metal last year, coming in second place in the world in silver production.

The majority of Peru’s physical silver is produced at the Antamina mine, located in the province of Huari. The mine is a joint venture between BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP), Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF), Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.B,TSX:TECK.A,NYSE:TECK) and Mitsubishi (OTC Pink:MSBHF,TSE:8058). Although it is primarily a copper mine, it still produces more silver than any other in the country.

The mining industry accounts for more than 50 percent of Peru’s total exports, and its silver mining has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian times. Peru also leads the way in the copper space, as it is the second largest copper producer in the world. Additionally, Peru consistently ranks as one of the world’s largest producers of economically important metals such as zinc, tin and gold.

2. Poland

Silver reserves: 100,000 MT

Another one of the world’s leading silver countries is Poland. Despite its reserves of 100,000 MT, Poland produced just 1,700 MT of silver in 2021. Much of that came from KGHM Polska Miedz (WSE:KGH).

KGHM is one of the largest producers of metallic silver and silver sales account for about 12 percent of its revenue. The company sells silver bars and grains, which are produced at the Głogów copper smelter and refinery. KGHM produces around 1,200 tonnes of silver annually.

3. Australia

Silver reserves: 90,000 MT

Mines in Australia produce much less silver than Peru and Poland, but the country’s reserves of the metal are nevertheless high. The nation put out only 1,400 MT of silver in 2021, while its holdings stand at 90,000 MT.

More top silver countries by reserves

Peru, Australia and Poland lead the world with the highest silver reserves, but there are many other top silver countries by reserves to know. Here’s a quick look at where other nations stand:

  • Russia — 45,000 MT
  • China — 41,000 MT
  • Mexico — 37,000 MT
  • Chile — 26,000 MT
  • US — 25,000 MT
  • Bolivia — 22,000 MT

The remaining countries combine to hold a total of 54,000 MT of silver reserves, according to the US Geological Survey. The total world figure for reserves sits at 560,000 MT.

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

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