Herradura silver-gold mine in Mexico, the world’s top silver producing country. (Image courtesy of Fresnillo, the world’s largest primary silver producer and Mexico’s second-largest gold miner.)
Global silver production dropped last year for the first time since 2002 driven by lower by-product output from the lead/zinc and gold sectors, as well as a sharp decline of scrap supply to the market, which hit its lowest since 1996.
According to the latestSilver Institute report, released Thursday, total silver supply decreased by 32.6 million ounces in 2016 in line with decreased demand for the precious metal, with falling jewellery, coin and bar and industrial consumption contributing to an 11% drop.
But a very positive outlook for energy technologies, which has boosted commodities such as lithium and nickel used in energy storage batteries, provided a much-needed lift to silver demand last year.
Purchases from the photovoltaic industry, driven by a 49%…
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