Visualizing The Global Silver Supply Chain
The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Tyler Durden
Although silver is known as a precious metal, its industrial uses accounted for more than 50% of silver demand in 2020.
From jewelry to electronics, various industries utilize silver’s high conductivity, aesthetic appeal and other properties in different ways. With the adoption of electric vehicles, 5G networks and solar panels, the world is embracing more technologies that rely on silver.
Behind all this are the companies that mine and refine the precious metal before it reaches other industries, and Durden provides a comprehensive chart that details the silver supply chain.
Mexico, Peru and China—the top three producers—combined for just over 50% of global silver production in 2020. South and Central American countries, including Mexico and Peru, produced around 390 million ounces—roughly half of the 784 million ounces mined globally.
Silver currency backed China’s entire economy at one point in history. Today, China is not only the third-largest silver producer but also the third-largest largest consumer of silver jewelry.
Poland is one of only three European countries in the mix. More than 99% of Poland’s silver comes from the KGHM Polska Miedź Mine, the world’s largest silver mining operation.
While silver’s supply chain spans all four hemispheres, concentrated production in a few countries puts it at risk of disruptions.
Durden discusses the sustainability of silver’s supply chain, and Nevada—the silver state.