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Top 10 Silver Producers

Posted on 2012-11-05, By A-Best Staff
By Michelle Smith–Exclusive to Silver Investing News

A list of the top silver producers for 2011 has yet to be released. However, based on the Silver Institute’s report here is a list of the top 10 producers from 2010, along with an update of  their activities and plans, which may be  helpful in determining what the 2011 top producer list will look like.


Silver production: 46.6 m/oz

Market Cap: 208.94 billion

BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified resource company, possessing an array of assets including some that produce iron, it’s main profit driver. Although the company is not a primary silver producer, Cannington in Australia is the world’s top silver producing mine. In 2010, this single source was credited with 38.6 million ounces of silver.

Despite strong overall results in 2011, the company’s silver production figures may be below those in 2010 because BHP Billiton has been reporting a decline in silver production, attributed largely to below average ore grades at Cannington.

Fresnillo (LSE:FRES)

Silver production: 38.6 m/oz

Market Cap: 1.25 trillion

In 2010, Fresnillo held the title of world’s largest primary silver producer. Though the company also mines gold over half its revenue is generated from the white metal. Its operations are based in Mexico and its largest mine, also named Fresnillo, is the world’s second largest silver mine. Fresnillo mine was credited with 35.91m/oz in 2010.

The company’s goal is to produce 65 m/oz of silver by 2018. But for 2011, it reported production of 41.9 m/oz, similar to 2010. 38 m/oz came from its mines and an additional 3.9 m/oz was obtained through its Silverstream Agreement. Fresnillo faced a decline in production from the Fresnillo mine due to a decline in ore grades. Further declines are expected and the company’s 2012 outlook forecasts production to remain largely unchanged.

KGHM Polska Miedz S.A. (WSE:KGHM)

Silver Production: 37.3 m/oz

Market Cap: 10 billion

Though KGHM Polska Miedz is considered to be a copper miner, the company ranked third among the global silver producers. Among its mines, which are all located in Poland, is the Lubin mine. The company notes that there, the copper content is low, but the silver content is high, averaging 65 grams per ton.

Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS,TSX:PAA)

Silver Production: 24.3 m/oz

Market Cap: 2.65 billion

Though it ranks forth in production, Pan American Silver is the second largest primary silver producer. It extracts the white metal from mines in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, where its flagship Alamo Dorado is located.

The company had previously announced expectations to produce 23-24 m/oz in 2011. However, due to lower silver grades and recoveries at several of its mines, including Alamo Dorado, it revised its forecasts to 22.5 m/oz. On the upside, the company also reported production gains from a number of its operations.

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