Among silver production specialists, Mexican mining company Fresnillo is the world’s largest. Other leading primary silver producers include Canadian Pan American Silver and U.S.-based Coeur Mining. The leading companies in terms of the amount of silver produced are Polish KGHM Polska Miedz and Australian BHP Billiton.
The United States is in ninth place when it comes to silver mine production. In 2017, U.S. silver production was slightly over one thousand metric tons. Interestingly, the largest portion of silver produced in the U.S. comes from secondary refinery production through new and old scrap. As the leading global silver consumer, the U.S. imported around 5,300 metric tons of this precious metal in 2017. At the same time, some 160 metric tons were exported.
The global supply of silver stands at around one billion ounces. Nearly half of all the silver supplied worldwide is used for industrial applications. Other sizable segments go into investment, coinage, and the jewelry industry. Looking at the last four decades, the price of silver showed a steady increase, reaching new record highs since 2010. The average London fixed price for one ounce of silver was 35.11 U.S. dollars in 2011, dropping to 17.14 U.S. dollars in 2016.