15 Biggest Silver Mining Companies in the World

This article will list the world's top silver mining companies and highlight the recent trends in the silver industry. You can skip our detailed overview of supply and demand intricacies of silver and read 5 Biggest Silver Mining Companies in the World.

Global Silver Demand and Supply 

In 2022, the dynamics of global silver demand and supply underwent major changes. The year saw a minor decline in mine production, with a 0.6% drop to 822.4 million ounces, in contrast to the previous year's robust growth of 5.8%. According to the Silver Institute, this decrease primarily resulted from reduced output at lead/zinc mines, notably in China and Peru, where silver production decreased by 3.5% to 248.2 million ounces. However, this decline was partially offset by increased silver production in gold and copper mines, which rose by 1.0% to 129.5 million ounces and 0.8% to 212.0 million ounces, respectively. Production from primary silver mines remained relatively stable, with a marginal 0.1% increase, totaling 228.2 million ounces.

Meanwhile, the demand for silver experienced an upswing in 2022, with total demand increasing by 18% to 1,242 million ounces, reaching its highest level since 2010. Notably, silver recycling continued to rise for the third consecutive year, growing by 3% and reaching a 10-year peak of 180.6 million ounces. This underscores the growing interest in silver as both a mined resource and a recyclable commodity.

Must Read: Top 20 Gold Mining Companies in the World

Major Silver-Consuming Sectors 

Silver experiences high demand in key sectors, namely physical investment, jewelry, and silverware. Regarding the investment aspect, the Silver Institute reported a significant increase in physical silver investments for the fifth consecutive year in 2022, reaching a record 332.9 million ounces. Notably, India stood out with a staggering 188% year-over-year increase in silver investments, driven by lower prices and bargain hunting.

Silver jewelry manufacturing also saw impressive growth, rising by 29% to a record 234.1 million ounces in 2022, primarily driven by India. In India, a combination of pent-up demand post-pandemic and restocking led to a doubling of volumes from the previous year. However, excluding India, there was a slight decline in jewelry manufacturing.

The US experienced reduced demand as consumer spending normalized. In contrast, Europe showed some increase in silver jewelry demand, driven by increased local consumption despite a drop in exports from Italy. Thailand, Indonesia, and Turkey also reported growth due to a recovery in exports and improvements in domestic sales. It's worth noting that jewelry manufacturing is expected to decrease by 15% at the end of the fiscal year, returning to pre-pandemic levels, particularly in India, where the market is adjusting after the 2022 surge.

Lastly, silverware manufacturing outpaced jewelry in terms of growth percentage, experiencing an 80% increase in demand in 2022, reaching 73.5 million ounces. This boost, as seen in the jewelry sector, was mainly driven by India, where demand more than doubled in 2022 as employment and income levels returned to pre-pandemic norms.

Also Read: 10 Largest Cobalt Mining Companies and Their Mines in the World

Top Silver Producing Countries 

The largest silver-producing countries in the world are Mexico, China, and Peru. In 2022, Mexico led the way with an impressive production of 6,300 metric tons, drawing from its reserves of 37,000 metric tons. Following closely, China also made a significant contribution, producing 3,600 metric tons of silver, supported by its substantial reserves estimated at 71,000 metric tons, according to the US Geological Survey. Peru, ranking third in silver production, boasts the world's largest silver reserves, totaling 98,000 metric tons. In 2022, Peru's commitment to sustainable mining practices resulted in a silver production of 3,100 metric tons.

Let's now talk about the top silver mining companies in the world! 

15 Biggest Silver Mining Companies in the World

15 Biggest Silver Mining Companies in the World

Our Methodology 

We identified the world's largest silver companies based on their average silver production over the past three years. This was determined using data from The Silver Institute's World Silver Surveys of 2022 and 2023, along with the companies' annual reports. The top silver mining companies were ranked in ascending order according to their annual silver yield.

Based on the available data, here are the top silver mining companies in the world:

15. First Majestic Silver Corp (TSE:FR)

Average Annual Silver Production:11.6 million ounces 

First Majestic Silver Corp., headquartered in Vancouver, is among the biggest silver mining companies in the world, with a notable presence in Mexico. The company's primary mining sites in Mexico include the San Dimas, Santa Elena, and La Encantada mines. The most prominent among them is the Santa Elena Silver/Gold Mine, which encompasses an extensive area of 102,244 hectares and operates both the Santa Elena and Ermitaño underground mines.

Looking ahead to the end of 2023, First Majestic has set ambitious production targets, aiming to achieve a record high of 33.2 million to 37.1 million silver equivalent ounces. This represents approximately a 12% increase from the previous year. This production goal is further broken down into 10 million to 11.1 million silver ounces and 277,000 to 310,000 gold ounces. The projected all-in sustaining cost per silver equivalent ounce is expected to range between $18.47 and $19.72.

14. Boliden AB (STO:BOL)

Average Annual Silver Production: 11.8 million ounces 

Boliden AB, a European company headquartered in Stockholm, primarily focuses on silver extraction in three key areas: the Boliden Area, Garpenberg, and Aitik. The Boliden Garpenberg mine stands out as one of the world's most efficient underground zinc mines and holds the distinction of being Sweden's oldest active mining area. This mine processes complex ores containing a combination of zinc, lead, silver, copper, and gold. In 2022, Garpenberg processed approximately 2,989 kilotons of ore, resulting in the production of metal concentrates, including silver.

13. BHP Group (NYSE:BHP)

Average Annual Silver Production: 12 million ounces 

BHP Group (NYSE:BHP), among the world's most valuable mining companies, operates several copper mines, notably the Escondida mine in Chile and the Antamina mine in Peru. Silver is a significant byproduct of copper and zinc mining within the company's operations, contributing to its high global silver production. Another key asset in BHP's silver production portfolio is the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia, known for its vast deposits of copper, gold, silver, and uranium. BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) also manages the Carrapateena and Prominent Hill mines in Australia, both notable for their substantial gold and silver projects.

12. South32 (ASX:S32)

Average Annual Silver Production: 12.7 million ounces 

South32, an Australian mining and metals organization, plays a significant role in the global silver mining industry. In the fiscal year 2022, the company achieved a notable milestone by producing 12.3 million ounces of silver. The primary source of this impressive production is the Cannington site located in Queensland, Australia, which ranks among the world's largest silver production sites.

Expanding its operations beyond Australia, South32 is also advancing the Hermosa project in Arizona, USA. This forward-looking project encompasses two significant deposits: the Taylor sulfide deposit, rich in zinc, lead, and silver, and the Clark oxide deposit, known for its zinc, manganese, and silver content.

Also Read: Top 20 Diamond Producing Countries in the World

11. Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)

Average Annual Silver Production: 13.5 million ounces 

Founded in 1891, Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) is one of the largest silver-producing companies in the US, operating active mines in Alaska, Idaho, Quebec, and Canada and developing a new mine in Canada's Yukon region.

In 2022, Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) achieved substantial success, reporting a silver production of 14.2 million ounces, a 10% increase over the previous year. This remarkable growth was primarily attributed to substantial production increases at two key mines: the Lucky Friday mine in Idaho, which experienced a 24% boost, and the Greens Creek mine in Alaska, contributing to a 5% rise. Notably, Greens Creek was a major contributor, accounting for 9.7 million ounces of the total silver produced in 2022.

During the first three quarters of 2023, despite a slight decline in silver production in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, the company's overall output for the first nine months of 2023 demonstrated an 8% increase compared to the same period in 2022, totaling 11,407,232 ounces of silver.

10. Volcan Cia Minera (BME:XVOLB)

Average Annual Silver Production: 13.8 million ounces 

Volcan Compañia Minera S.A.A., a leading mining firm based in Peru, specializes in various activities, including exploring, extracting, processing, and selling polymetallic ores, with a particular focus on silver. This company is situated in the mineral-rich Central Andes regions of Junin and Pasco, where it operates 16 polymetallic mines: 11 underground and five surface mines, along with six processing plants and a gold mine concentrator. Despite its extensive operations, the company saw a slight decline in silver production in 2022, with output decreasing by 5% to 14.3 million ounces (Moz) from the previous year's 15 Moz.

9. Pan American Silver Corp (NYSE:PAAS)

Average Annual Silver Production:18.3 million ounces 

In 2022, Pan American Silver Corp (NYSE:PAAS) successfully produced 18.5 million ounces of silver, meeting its adjusted projection of 18.0 to 18.5 million ounces. Initially, the company had aimed for a higher range of 19.0 to 20.5 million ounces. Additionally, it achieved significant gold production, totaling 552.5 thousand ounces, which fell within its forecasted range of 550.0 to 605.0 thousand ounces for the same period. The third quarter of 2023 marked a notable period for Pan American Silver Corp (NYSE:PAAS) as it recorded a silver output of 5.7 million ounces and achieved a record-breaking gold production of 244.2 thousand ounces.

8. Southern Copper Corp (NYSE:SCCO)

Average Annual Silver Production: 19.7 million ounces

Southern Copper Corporation (NYSE:SCCO), a prominent player in the silver mining sector, has recently experienced fluctuations in its silver production. In the third quarter of 2023, the company produced 4,390,000 ounces of silver, marking a 10% decrease compared to the same period the previous year. This decline was consistent across all their operations, except for the Toquepala mine. Additionally, there was a 7% decrease in the company's silver sales volumes year-over-year.

Despite these production and sales challenges, Southern Copper Corp (NYSE:SCCO) exhibited robust financial performance in the third quarter. The company's net sales increased by 16.2%, primarily attributed to higher prices for molybdenum, silver, and copper. Its net income also showed significant growth, reaching $619.5 million, a 19.4% increase from the previous year's third quarter.

7. Polymetal International plc (OTC:POYYF)

Average Annual Silver Production: 20.08 million ounces 

Polymetal International plc operates in Russia and Kazakhstan, consistently delivering strong performance. In the third quarter of 2023, the company's gold equivalent production increased by 12% compared to the same period the previous year, reaching a total of 508 thousand ounces. This significant rise was primarily driven by heightened production levels at their Russian facilities, including Urals, Mayskoye, and Dukat sites. Throughout the first nine months of 2023, Polymetal continued this growth trajectory, reporting a 6% year-on-year increase in gold equivalent production, totaling 1,272 thousand ounces, with substantial contributions from both Kazakhstan and Russia.

6. Hindustan Zinc Ltd (NSE:HINDZINC)

Average Annual Silver Production: 22.02 million ounces 

Hindustan Zinc Ltd, headquartered in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, has achieved the remarkable status of being the world's fifth-largest silver producer, as highlighted in the 2023 World Silver Survey by The Silver Institute. Since its inception in 2002, when it produced 41 tonnes, the company has steadily expanded its production capacity to reach 800 tonnes. In 2022, Hindustan Zinc Ltd produced an impressive 694 tonnes (22.2 million ounces) of silver. Notably, the company's silver refinery in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, has earned recognition from the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and holds a place on the prestigious "London Good Delivery" list. The silver produced at Hindustan Zinc's refinery boasts an exceptional purity level of 99.99%, adhering to the stringent standards set by the LBMA.

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Disclosure: None. 15 Biggest Silver Mining Companies in the World is originally published at Insider Monkey.

Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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