Top 10 Silver-producing Countries (Updated 2024)

There are many factors to consider when investing in silver-focused stocks, including the silver price outlook, the company's management team and whether its assets are in one of the top silver-producing countries.

Location can be key, and knowing the top silver-producing countries can help investors made sound decisions. For example, high silver production in a particular nation might indicate mining-friendly laws or high-grade deposits.

So which country produces the most silver? In 2023, Mexico was once again the world’s leading silver-producing country. Global silver production increased marginally for the period, rising to 26,000 metric tons (MT) due to increased output out of Mexico as well as Chile, where new silver mines have come online or are ramping up output.

Below is an overview of the top silver-producing countries of 2023. Silver production stats are based on the latest data from the US Geological Survey. Read on to learn about the latest activities in these areas.

1. Mexico

Mine production: 6,400 MT

Mexico continues to rank as the largest silver-producing country in the world, and it produced 6,400 metric tons in 2023, up slightly by 205 MT over the previous year. Mexico is home to Fresnillo (LSE:FRES,OTC Pink:FNLPF), the largest silver company in the world. Fresnillo’s silver production in 2023 was up 4.7 percent compared to the previous year.

Mexico's Zacatecas state hosts two of the world’s largest silver mines: Fresnillo’s Zacatecas silver mine and Newmont’s (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM) Peñasquito polymetallic mine, which is also Mexico’s largest open-pit mine. In 2023, strike action among workers resulted in a four month suspension of operations at Peñasquito.

2. China

Mine production: 3,400 MT

Second on this top silver-producing countries list is China, which produced 3,400 metric tons of silver in 2023. The Silver Institute attributes a large part of China’s rise within the bullion market in recent years to the country’s development of its mining industry, as the majority of Chinese silver production originates as a by-product of other metals.

Many companies in China are privately owned, but Silvercorp Metals (TSX:SVM,NYSEAMERICAN:SVM) bills itself as the country’s largest primary silver producer. It has a portfolio of producing silver-lead-zinc mines in China, including the multi-mine Ying district and the Gaocheng operations.

3. Peru

Mine production: 3,100 MT

Peru ranked third in silver production in 2023 with 3,100 metric tons of new silver supply, up slightly from 3,079 MT in 2022. Peru features the world’s largest-known silver reserves, with an impressive 98,000 MT of silver. The country has a massive amount of untapped silver potential that could allow it to challenge Mexico for the top spot in the future.

Much of Peru’s physical silver production comes from the Antamina mine, a joint venture between BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP), Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF), Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.A,TSX:TECK.B,NYSE:TECK) and Mitsubishi (OTC Pink:MSBHF,TSE:8058). Although it is a prolific producer of silver bullion, Antamina is primarily a copper mine with silver produced as a by-product.

Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI,NYSE:FSM) is rapidly growing its silver production with five operating mines on the market, one of which, the Caylloma mine, is in Peru. Caylloma produced more than 1.23 million ounces of silver in 2023.

4. Chile

Mine production: 1,400 MT

Chile produced 1,400 metric tons of silver in 2023, down about 126 MT from 2022. The country’s reserves of the white metal are estimated at 26,000 MT, as per the US Geological Survey.

Most of the silver production in Chile is a by-product of copper and gold production. State-owned Codelco, one of the world’s top copper producers, is also one of the world’s top silver-producing companies. Codelco operates two of the country's five largest silver mines, Chuquicamata and Mina Ministro Hales. The other three largest silver mines in Chile are Glencore's Collahuasi mine, Kinross Gold's (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC) La Coipa mine and BHP's Escondida mine.

5. Poland

Mine production: 1,300 MT

Poland's 2023 silver production of 1,300 metric tons was on nearly par with the previous year. The country could expand its silver output further as it has 63,000 MT of silver reserves.

Poland-based KGHM Polska Miedz (WSE:KGH) is consistently one of the world’s top silver-producing companies, according to the Silver Institute.

6. Australia

Mine production: 1,200 MT

In 2023, Australia's silver output was tied with that of Russia and Bolivia. Mines in Australia churned out 1,200 metric tons of silver for the year, a slight increase from 1,167 MT in 2022. Silver mining in Australia has a rich history; mining giant BHP began there as a silver operation in the 1920s.

Today, South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF) runs Queensland's Cannington mine, which produces more silver than any other mine in the country. The company claims Cannington is one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost silver producers. Several other Australian mines produce significant amounts of silver as a by-product, including Glencore's Mount Isa zinc mine and Aeris Resources' Tritton copper mine

Aside from those players, companies developing silver projects in the country include Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ), which owns the Nimbus silver-zinc project in Western Australia, and Silver Mines (ASX:SVL,OTC Pink:SLVMF), which owns the Bowdens and Webbs silver projects in New South Wales.

6. Bolivia

Mine production: 1,200 MT

Bolivia's silver output inched down by a mere 14 MT in 2023 to come in at 1,200 MT. There is room for its silver industry to expand as the country has reported reserves of 22,000 MT.

Bolivia is home to several silver mines, particularly in its Potosí region, including the San Cristobal zinc-lead-silver mine operated by San Cristobal Mining, and the San Vicente underground silver-zinc mine operated by Pan American Silver (TSX:PAAS,NASDAQ:PAAS).

6. Russia

Mine production: 1,200 MT

Russia’s silver output decreased by 80 MT in 2023 to 1,200 metric tons. Its silver reserves stand at 92,000 MT, and its largest silver producer was previously Polymetal International (LSE:POLY,OTC Pink:POYYF).

Polymetal dominated silver production in Russia until recently, with seven gold and silver mines in the country. However, the Kazakh company received shareholder approval in early 2024 to sell its Russian business to Russian company Mangazeya Mining due to the risks of operating in the region.

The smaller-scale Silver Bear Resources (TSX:SBR) produced the first silver at its Mangazeisky project in Russia in 2019. Mangazeisky includes the high-grade Vertikalny deposit, which the company says is “amongst the highest-grade silver deposits in the world.” The company is still operating the mine, and produced 264,144 ounces of silver in Q1 2024.

9. United States

Mine production 1,000 MT

Silver output in the US during 2023 came in at 1,000 metric tons, down by 10 MT over the previous year. Mining took place at four primary silver operations and as a by-product at 31 base and precious metals mines. The country’s two top silver-producing states are Alaska and Nevada, and silver reserves in the US stand at 23,000 MT.

The largest US-based silver producer is Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL), which has operating silver mines in Alaska and Idaho. The majority of Hecla's 2023 production was derived from its Greens Creek mine in Alaska and Lucky Friday mine in Idaho. Greens Creek is the largest silver mine in the US.

10. Kazakhstan

Mine production 990 MT

Kazakhstan replaced Argentina as a top 10 silver producer in 2023 with production of 990 metric tons, even though its output fell compared to its 1,053 MT in 2022.

The top silver-producing company in Kazakhstan is KAZ Minerals. The miner owns five producing assets, two of which are ranked among the five largest silver mines in the country. Two more of these top five mines are controlled by Glencore.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.