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Silver 101: Production By Country

Tyler Durden's picture


From the same folks at Money Choices who brought to you: "Gold 101: Who's Got It And Who's Finding It" now comes the 101 lesson in silver: world silver production by country. While his may not come as news to many, the bulk of production comes out of three distinct countries: Peru, Mexico and China. And with the price of the metal having surged more in the past several months than virtually any commodity, suddenly the producers may find themselves with substantial leverage to dictate terms of delivery: think of what happened to Rare Earth Minerals when China blocked exports briefly. With the US not even in the top 5 of world production, could we soon see the formation of yet another cartel, especially when one considers that unlike gold (so the thinking goes), silver also has industrial uses?

The Rise of Silver (Infographic)

Courtesy of Money Choices


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Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:45 | 789421 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

That is not a lot of silver production.  Good thing JPM sold enough to go around 2 years ago.  Haha!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:54 | 789445 JuicyTheAnimal
JuicyTheAnimal's picture

There were some 3 plus million silver eagles purchased from the mint in November.  If that pace continues our entire silver production might soon not be enough to even cover silver eagle demand!


update:  silver appears to have bottomed at 28/oz spot.  That's very bullish that this sell off/ profit taking may very well be over already. 



Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:56 | 789468 flacon
flacon's picture

Let's hope this madness has ended. What a whacky 24 hours, eh?!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:07 | 789519 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

it's like the whole market is working against me today...

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 20:45 | 790988 ZackLo
ZackLo's picture

Yeah the PTB had there day today....luck I got the 32's fo april=)

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:57 | 789480 TWORIVER
TWORIVER's picture

Action is bad and a test of up trend/ support at 26.75 is likely imminent.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:08 | 789524 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

DXY chart doesn't look so shit hot either, IMHO.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:10 | 789535 TWORIVER
TWORIVER's picture

I think DX/Y looks like it wants to go to 83.5. Support at 79 has held up well over the last few days. If that changes then so will my feelings on it. Good luck.

Wed, 12/22/2010 - 23:04 | 791313 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

It has to punch down past 79, eh? I'm thinking you just might get your wish, though it certainly has a way to go yet.

JMHO, natch.


Update: Dec.12,2010

As low as 79.20, getting cloooooooseeeeer....


Update: Dec.14,2010

78.95 Uh oh.

Ag@ 29.84 US bitz of pretty polly;  define 'imminent' for me wouldja deux riviere.


Update: Dec.22,2010

Hoo hooo Deux Rivieres, that USD baby's got some bounce after all. Not too sure about your silver call though:

Ag @ 29.29, but DX(/)Y 80.56!! I'm generous in giving you a 50% grade on this one, as technically the DXY dipped below your 'opinion changing' 79 level, and hasn't come anywhere near your target. Also, silver hasn't touched anything in the 26's (and it doesn't look like it's going to 'imminently' either).


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:27 | 789602 ColoradoBikerChic
ColoradoBikerChic's picture

'Action is bad and a test of up trend/ support at 26.75 is likely imminent.'

I'm seeing that too.  But of interest is, the 2.5million 1 minute spike on the SLV at $2750ish ( $28.10ish silver spot )at 11:04 EST today... thus far, that buy in is holding the bottom on todays chart.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:36 | 789754 mrgneiss
mrgneiss's picture

Do you think that large order in the SLV put a bottom in for silver?  Maybe, most would argue that SLV just tracks the POS and any large order that happened in SLV at the same time spot silver bottomed for the day was just coincidence, but then again if the same entity that is shorting the shit out of silver knows it is done shorting for the day and is the same entity that runs the SLV............I'm just saying..........

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:00 | 790294 ColoradoBikerChic
ColoradoBikerChic's picture

Bottom callers and Top caller both become cotton pickers, just sayin'.  In addition to my comments above.. note that the Hourly on SLV is now bouncing off the 200MA as well as bottom trendline from the last sell-off in early Nov. So, if you're day-trading the paper SLV for some paper profits, well, pick your best entry based on candlestick patterns, fav misc chart studies, and macro news, then hold on.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:14 | 790042 boricuadigm-shift
boricuadigm-shift's picture

Loaded up on some PSLV to trade the volatility and pay the bills :-)

Take advantage of it. :-)

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:06 | 790333 dehdhed
dehdhed's picture

on my 4hr chart i've got channel support and trend line support from 11/17 intersecting on friday at about the same hour they announce next months pomo.   right now it's just riding those lines since that last big push down. they intersect around 28.50 and if my hunch is correct, pomo could be massive given recent bond action and the tax cut and unemployment extensions.  could get interesting pretty soon.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:06 | 789513 unky
unky's picture

What about rate hikes in china? Is this already priced in (short term silver)

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:40 | 789660 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

every event is priced in till 2050...

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:39 | 789876 destraht
destraht's picture

I've been playing long with silver lately. I feel like for the next several plays that it is impossible to lose money but also I'm annoyed that I'm not catching all of the volatility. I feel like I'm standing next to a waterfall with a coffee cup. Sure its good profits but so much of it is escaping me.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:44 | 789422 velobabe
velobabe's picture

oH BoY Oh bOy

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:45 | 789426 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Yes, thanks TD!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:45 | 789424 unky
unky's picture

can u post a link of this picture in full size?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:53 | 789458 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

The content at the link provided above had a bigger pic:


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:04 | 789502 unky
unky's picture

thanks man

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:46 | 789427 Capsaicin
Capsaicin's picture

is the border with Mexico leaking in both directions? I'm heading south...

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:01 | 790306 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Better go WAY south.

Mexico is not Foreigner friendly, except for spending visitors.

Almost impossible to get citizenship, and buy property, or own a business(unless you have a majority Mexican partner).

Too bad they are not as friendly towards Americans moving there, as we are allowing anyone from there to come and drink freely, forever.

No quid pro quo here mate.

The most corrupt Gv't on the planet, yes, even worse than ours.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 21:35 | 791097 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Al Peru, Putaz!

I do not know if the rules are still the same, but a few years ago if you invested $50k here (I am in Peru right now), they would give you a passport.

Our bearing business will likely have its best year ever.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:00 | 789431 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Buy silver!

And no wonder DoChen likes Peru.

Why is Now the Best Time to Invest In Precious Metals?:

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 21:33 | 791106 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Peru is really cooking now!  Also No. 2 in copper production, No. 5 in gold.

If the rules are still the same (?), a $50k investment gets you a passport.

But, re pricing power, I think Peru is not in a position, or really wants to, ´do and OPEC´.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:47 | 789432 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Beautiful! I hope you understand also, that with each shovel of silver, you dig up gold, copper, nickel, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, everything- you get ALL metals. However, the industrial usage figures vs. production have been at a terminal deficit for over 20 years!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:17 | 789794 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:47 | 789438 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Get some Poland! Would have never guessed their production was close to the US. US has some good silver areas, Nevada still has a lot if I'm not mistaken.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:40 | 789664 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Looks like we finally found out where the Nazis hid their silver and gold stash :)

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:44 | 789680 panika2008
panika2008's picture

Actually, you illiterate, it's OUR gold (several hundred tons robbed from Polish banks by nazis in 1939-1945) that the Germans and, by extension, occupying allied forces "forgot" to return to us. The production depicted on the graph is genuine silver that is actually dug out of the ground.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:04 | 789752 ArsoN
ArsoN's picture

well said.  

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:49 | 789690 panika2008
panika2008's picture

Almost all of the production from Poland shown on this graph is offshot of KGHM's, a major Polsih copper producing corporation, copper mining. Might be interesting fot those of you looking do diversify into foreign miners, the company is very stable and has a decent management (but of course due dilligence should be apllied).

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:04 | 790322 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Yeah,they do, also most of the Gold reserves(owned and occupied by US Armed Forces.

Unca Sammy, gotta Lub em'.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:51 | 789450 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

OT - Some guy from the Tocqueville Gold Fund and basically said that he would drop that fund like a bad habit at the first hint that the Gold Rush was ending.  The Power Lunch crew almost lost their shit. Never seen such a blatent admission, it was great!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:15 | 790362 DosZap
DosZap's picture

And what's he going into?.


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:53 | 789456 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

The JP Morgue is just tighenting the noose around the taxpayers neck with all this naked shorting. 

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:59 | 789485 johnnymustardseed
johnnymustardseed's picture

Actual production means nothing when the paper silver is 18 Quadrillion ounces

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:15 | 789786 panika2008
panika2008's picture


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:44 | 790213 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I think he was being sarcastic ... SLV (or was it GLD) was reported on ZH as being 100:1 in actual shares to bullion ... either way, its probably wise to ignore SLV unless day trading is your thing.



Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:59 | 789486 Old Pecksniff
Old Pecksniff's picture

I say the silver valley in Idaho is the biggest producer.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:09 | 789526 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Yes, but WAS. EPA put an end to that. Its a Ski area now, nice too.

Superfund site now a golf course.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:55 | 789947 spartan117
spartan117's picture

Hecla still mining in the Silver Valley.  So is U.S. Silver Corp.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:02 | 789495 assumptionblindness
assumptionblindness's picture

Damn, Mexico is sitting on a lot more than I thought.  To our neighbors: Stop shooting each other and start digging!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:11 | 789546 Bubbles...bubbl...
Bubbles...bubbles everywhere's picture

Why dig when you can just steal? Isn't that what JPM and company are doing? A lot of the silver production areas are controlled by the narco. Very soon they are going to be kidnapping miners if this keeps up.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:35 | 789854 Political Athiest
Political Athiest's picture

Eh. When the NAU is complete we'll all be family. And what's a little looting among family members?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:42 | 789888 destraht
destraht's picture

Mexico should be incredibly rich. Oh well.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:23 | 790380 Acidtest Dummy
Acidtest Dummy's picture

Does look incredible to me too. I'd suspect Mo (molybdenum) if I were a suspicious type.  :)


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:06 | 790332 DosZap
DosZap's picture

One of the wealthiest Mexican bidness man, has been trying to get Mexico back on the Slvr std(coinage), and also the USA.

To no avail.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:06 | 789507 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

A little thing somebody from Umicore told is that there is a lot of the supply from the 50's, 60's and also from the 90's that is pretty radioactive and is still writting in the books as normal silver.

Silver was used to purify uranium and also in russia, there is a lot of radioactive silver that went mainstream.

Anybody buying the 50 kopeks should put a little geigher counter next to it and will see a higher radioactive count.

The reason for this is, is because unpure silver contains nickle and this attracks radiation. Also silver itself is already more radioactive then normal metals.

This is also one of the reasons that at the end of the 60's so few countries made silver coins anymore because in case of a atom war, all that currency would become worthless and dangerous.


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:09 | 789531 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

I'm selling a potentially radioactive silver eagle for $32.  Anyone interested?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:46 | 789682 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I'm awaiting a shipment from Spain of silver eagles at 26$ a piece and morgans at 18$ at a auction ;)

all ranging from 86 to 93. Some old guy liquidated his stash. I just trashed my visa buying everything he had, over 620 coins.

Like I said, I'm expecting visa to block my account any day now :)

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:37 | 790190 spbrat
spbrat's picture

where did you get these???


can i please get a clue on this?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:37 | 790191 spbrat
spbrat's picture

where did you get these???


can i please get a clue on this?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:12 | 789549 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Production figures are for reference only, what about Inventory? All the years silver=shit, this metal has been piling up in the garbage pails of gold & copper producers. There will NEVER be a shortage of silver, its impossible. Its out back, next to the PBR cans.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:18 | 789573 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Have fun digging!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:59 | 789733 Nucking Futs
Nucking Futs's picture

By "NEVER" you're implying an infinite supply?  Price should be 0 then. 

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:44 | 789896 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

No, the prices of everything ELSE dug up should trend towards ZERO if you're digging for silver.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:25 | 789821 Goldenballs
Goldenballs's picture

We,ll see very shortly.If you had a brain you,d be f****n dangerous.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:49 | 789925 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Please, only US silver coins pre-1965 have any value. But silver itself 1) Isn't gold 2) can be replaced by copper 3) has inventory EVERYWHERE not listed on LME

Silver $350 /lb Copper $4/lb   Only Gold is Gold, Silver is Not Gold in any form.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:36 | 790432 Acidtest Dummy
Acidtest Dummy's picture

I heard, "Some people think silver is money, it isn't; Gold is, silver is only change."

A Morgan or a Peace dollar will never be worth less than a paper FRN.

If you can replace Ag with Cu you are my hero!


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 21:45 | 791141 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

... only US silver coins pre-1965 have any value

Can you refine that statement?  Pesos have no value?  Silver Eagles have no value?  Proof U. S. silver coinage has no value?

Thu, 12/09/2010 - 05:40 | 791808 slvrizgold
slvrizgold's picture

No silverizgold!  Incorrect!   Silver is BETTER and more useful than gold. 

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:11 | 790349 DosZap
DosZap's picture

I doubt that.

China refines hundreds of tons of silver from other countries, because it is dangerous as sludge, and tailings.

The Reds do not care about killing off a few Chinese laborers, and the stuff is SO toxic, only the Reds will separate it.

Death Inc.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:18 | 789571 Paul Bogdanich
Paul Bogdanich's picture

Highly misleading.  The main problem with Silver production is not lack of ore it's Ag's habit of appearing with Pb (lead).  So if one were willing to set aside the consequences of smelting out the lead (which explains why yhe current large producers are who they are) then the United States has enormous silver reserves.  For example when you drive from Kingman Arizona to Henderson Nevada the hills to the North of the highway are lousy with lead silver.  Millions and millions of tons.  Similarly the mountains to the East on the drive from Hayden Idaho to Sandpoint Idaho are also lousy with lead silver.  The problem is the lead and the enviornmental consequnces of smelting out the lead. 

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:57 | 789721 Spigot
Spigot's picture

Closed smelt system would mean no problem for lead contamination, IMO. Load up on "worthless" lead-silver mines.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:06 | 789755 Nucking Futs
Nucking Futs's picture

It's probably not financially viable to squeeze out the silver from the lead, just yet.  Perhaps if/when the price of silver rises enough, it'll be worth it.  Case in point:  shale oil reserves were being looked at to extract oil when the price of oil was kicking around $140.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:10 | 789767 UncleFurker
UncleFurker's picture


What's the lead:silver ratio?


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:52 | 789935 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Who cares? Who needs silver? People who can't afford gold? Stupidity.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 19:35 | 790708 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

All there for the picking, eh?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 15:46 | 789674 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Now I'd like to see the same chart, except showing only production where silver constitutes at least ... say 20% of revenue. 

I.e. subtract out all the facilities that produce 500,000 tons of zinc per year, and 1 million ounces of silver.

( Just in case you were looking for something else to do, TD. )

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:09 | 789763 UncleFurker
UncleFurker's picture


Peru and Mexico may be #1 and #2 but who actually OWNS the silver mines there.

I betcha it ain't just Peruvians and Mexicans!


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:13 | 790359 DosZap
DosZap's picture

On Mexico, I'll take your bet.

Their HUGE on taking, shitty on giving.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 21:41 | 791124 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Peruvians own SOME, foreign companies the rest.  At least for now, Peru is very investor friendly, and its people are tired of all the Lefty shenanigans of past years.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 22:51 | 791267 RECISION
RECISION's picture

Ohh goodie, they will be able to enjoy the shenanigans of the Righties for a while then...  hahaha.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:10 | 789766 SCOTT
SCOTT's picture



Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:44 | 789897 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:10 | 789768 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

IADA IADA IADA buy some SLV puts for protection and go ice skating! WTF!

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:22 | 789815 Goldenballs
Goldenballs's picture

To hear some some jokers whining on here is a laugh,the only Silver thats being sold is paper,load up on physical whilst its still around,this market is going over the horizon in the long term,anyone who sells physical at these prices will regret it.Sell your physical now and its off to smoggy China with it.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:31 | 789840 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

...and fuck production.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:35 | 789855 omi
Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:45 | 789906 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Ratio like P/E ratio?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:56 | 789952 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Does anyone find it strange that Sprott took 6 months to accumulate a few million ounces for PSLV, but SLV can acquire 3 million oz in one day?  Check out Harvey Organ's blog every night after usually 7PM for some very interestinginfo.

Thu, 12/09/2010 - 05:45 | 791813 slvrizgold
slvrizgold's picture

Yeah that's real fishy that SLV can pick up millions of oz of silver at any time.   BULLSHIT.

James Turk alleges on that he knows of person who tried to take delivery of merely 20,000 oz of allocated silver from a Swiss bank and it took 2 months to get it.   That is shocking.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:16 | 790062 Developers
Developers's picture

Why do people rely on charts to obtain an idea of where silver may go?  Its manipulated.  Doesn't that inherently mean that one is viewing eroneous data to begin with? 


My apologies if I sound like an idiot but the current price means absolutely nothing.  Just trade in your FRNs for real money and sleep well at night.


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:24 | 790104 Spigot
Spigot's picture

Current trade is dominated by paper and futures markets, with virtally no physical backing...

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:12 | 790354 ColoradoBikerChic
ColoradoBikerChic's picture

'Why do people rely on charts to obtain an idea of where silver may go? '

Technical Charts are excellent indicator for the Pro Trader , even moreso now than in the past, because 70% of all trades are 'robotrades', aka HFT High Freqency Trading, which is software programed-based on algorythms from Technical Analysis.  Thats why.  Kind of like playing Chess with Big Blue.

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 18:06 | 790331 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

The largest Gold producers are the largest Silver producers, get it?

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 19:34 | 790704 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Swap gold for silver. 

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 21:42 | 791128 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Buy and keep both.  Diversification...

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 19:41 | 790707 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

For all you impatient, self-loathing precious metal lovers who feel so hard done by today:

"It was true cinema la clef,

You should see it before there's nothing left.

In an epic too small to be tragic,

You'll have to wait a minute 'cause it's an 'Instamatic'

Yeah, that's awful close, but that's not why;

I'm so hard done by..."


Wed, 12/08/2010 - 20:02 | 790837 trav7777
trav7777's picture

they should produce a nice chart of who has and produces the platinum. like two countries with any commercially significant production.  The vast majority of ozs we get come from Bushveld in RSA, and about 50% of the platinum mined is used for consumption-based purposes.  Only around 6% of the annual gold production by weight, and 1/150th of silver.

Either gold is overpriced or platinum is underpriced

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 21:44 | 791137 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Pt is the Bearing´s favorite metal.

Other than 52100 carbon-steel highly engineered into fine rolling motion components...

Thu, 12/09/2010 - 11:55 | 792595 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Simple, Plat is not MONEY.

Although it is FAR more rare.

As is Palladium, but,then again it's not money.

Gold & Silver are money.

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 14:39 | 811971 W0TM
W0TM's picture

Based on MANY geological tests (especially those before the "green movement" took over our government) the USA would be #1 in silver production (as well as many other metals, etc.) IF mega-million square miles hadn't been shut off from even exploration. They made ALL types exploration (even satellite!) illegal under Clinton knowing the public outcry would be too strong if shown we could and should be 100% energy and commodity independent. WHY is this never noted?  We are the most energy and mineral rich area in the world - by far.  Refer to data published before (about) 1985.  Huge areas had not yet been explored but were next to areas of massive finds (and they probably never will be explored).  We buy from enemies and fight wars to keep the "green movement" happy.

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