For the last nine uninterrupted years, silver production is displaying a positive growth and is expected to increase by 4 percent in 2011. Last year, in 2010, Mexico overtook Peru as the largest silver producing nation and should maintain its position firmly in 2011 as well. Soaring silver prices are indicating increased profitability for silver mining companies along with a renewed zest for exploration, investment & development.
Top Silver Producers in the World:
- BHP Billiton: BHP Billiton is the top-ranking mining firm in the world sustaining on its main silver deposit at Cannington Mine in Australia. The mine excavates 6 percent of the silver mine production of the world. In addition, BHP also owns shares in Escondida, Antamina and Olympic Dam operations. By September 2011, all four of its properties had produced 9.15 million ounces of silver with the Cannington mine producing 7.55 million ounces alone. However, the production is down by 25 percent compared with the same month last year.
- Fresnillo Plc: Fresnillo Plc whose main interest lies in the silver mine deposit at Minera Fresnillo, Mexico. In addition, it owns five other properties at Herrardura, Soledad-Dipolos, Minera Saucito, Cienega and the Noche Buena deposits. In 2011, Fresnillo produced 441 million ounces of silver, a drop of 13.4 percent compared to last year.
- KGHM Polska Miedz sa: Although, the Poland based KGHM Polska Miedz sa is chiefly a copper mining firm, it ranked third in the world in 2010 for excavating 37.3 million troz of silver.
- Pan American Silver Corp.: The Canadian based silver mining firm, owns silver mines in US, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Its main interest lies in Alamo Dorado mine in Sonora, Mexico. The mine’s production has decreased to 6.7 million ounces in 2010 to 5.1 million ounces of silver in 2011. But, the company is trying to increase its production with increased reserves that should start functioning by 2016.
- Goldcorp Inc.: Goldcorp Inc. bets its odds on the Penasquito mine in Zacatecas, Mexico which boasts of humongous reserves. The company plans to produce average of 28 million ounces of silver per year. Of the total nine silver mines, the company’s proven deposits equal 1309 million ounces plus it is harvesting for more reserves.
- Cia. Minera Volcan: A Peru based silver mining firm, the company excavated nearly 20 million ounces of silver in 2010.
- Hochschild Mining: Hochschild Mining is also a Peruvian company with prominent bases at Arcata, Ares, and Pallancata deposit sites. In totality, these mines produced 18.98 Moz of silver with 5.38 million ounces of silver supplemented by the San Jose mine in Argentina and Morris mine in Mexico. Hochschild expects to produce 22.5 million ounces of silver for 2011.
- JSC Polymetal: The Russian based silver mining company owns four properties and in addition has two other mine underdevelopment. The developing mines will add 5.6 million ounces of silver to the company reserves. By next year, Polymetal expects to increase its production by 50 percent to 25.6 million ounces.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp.: It is the largest US based company with an estimated production of 19.5 million ounces of silver in 2011. It owns five deposits in US, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina and Australia with proven deposits totaling 227.09 million ounces of silver. The company expects to produce 19.5 million ounces of silver this year.
- Sumitomo Corp.: Sumitomo owns the third largest silver mine in the world – the San Cristobal Mine in Bolivia which is operated by its subsidiary, Minera San Cristobal. A Japanese company, Sumitomo produced 14.4 million ounces of silver in 2010.